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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(5), 466; doi:10.3390/ijerph13050466

Health-Related Quality of Life among Artisanal Fisherwomen/Shellfish Gatherers: Lower than the General Population

1
Department of Technology in Health and Biology, Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Bahia, Salvador 40301-015, Brazil
2
Post-Graduate Program in Health, Environment, and Work, School of Medicine, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador 40026-010, Brazil
3
Departmentof Statistics, Institute of Mathematics, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador 40170-115, Brazil
4
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7431, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 7 March 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 26 April 2016 / Published: 5 May 2016
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Abstract

Quality of life is an indicator of how well one perceives that he/she is functioning physically and mentally. The aim of this paper is to determine the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of artisanal fisherwomen/shellfish gatherers from the Saubara municipality in Bahia, Brazil in comparison to the general population. A structured questionnaire was administered to a sample of 209 artisanal fisherwomen selected at random. The HRQOL questionnaire, known as the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey version 1 (SF-36v01), was also used, having been translated and verified cross-culturally for the Brazilian population. Sociodemographic, lifestyle and comorbidity information was also collected. Chronic diseases and indicators of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) were self-reported. The study population consisted primarily of individuals between 30 and 45 years of age (78%), of self-classified races black or brown (96.2%), with no more than an elementary school education (77%) and married (64.6%). In all the SF-36v01 dimensions, the values in the sample were lower than in the general population of Brazil, which was used as the reference population. In the “Physical Health” domain (Physical Functioning; Physical Role Limitations; Bodily Pain; General Health Perception) a tendency toward a lower health-related quality of life was observed among those who were older, had a lower education level, and had a prevalence of MSDs, hypertension or arthritis. The interference of health conditions linked to the fisherwomen’s work activities may contribute to lower HRQOL in all analyzed aspects, in comparison to the general population. In light of these findings, public health policies must consider these informal workers who contribute greatly to Brazil’s economy and food system. View Full-Text
Keywords: health-related quality of life (HRQOL); artisanal fisherwomen; SF-36; small-scale fishermen; chronic diseases; musculoskeletal disorders health-related quality of life (HRQOL); artisanal fisherwomen; SF-36; small-scale fishermen; chronic diseases; musculoskeletal disorders
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Müller, J.S.; Falcão, I.R.; Couto, M.C.B.M.; Viana, W.S.; Alves, I.B.; Viola, D.N.; Woods, C.G.; Rêgo, R.F. Health-Related Quality of Life among Artisanal Fisherwomen/Shellfish Gatherers: Lower than the General Population. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 466.

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