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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020353

Is the Definition of Roma an Important Matter? The Parallel Application of Self and External Classification of Ethnicity in a Population-Based Health Interview Survey

1
Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, H-4032, Hungary
2
Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, H-4012, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 16 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Roma Health)
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Abstract

The Roma population is typified by a poor and, due to difficulties in ethnicity assessment, poorly documented health status. We aimed to compare the usefulness of self-reporting and observer-reporting in Roma classification for surveys investigating differences between Roma and non-Roma populations. Both self-reporting and observer-reporting of Roma ethnicity were applied in a population-based health interview survey. A questionnaire was completed by 1849 people aged 18–64 years; this questionnaire provided information on 52 indicators (morbidity, functionality, lifestyle, social capital, accidents, healthcare use) indicators. Multivariate logistic regression models controlling for age, sex, education and employment were used to produce indicators for differences between the self-reported Roma (N = 124) and non-Roma (N = 1725) populations, as well as between observer-reported Roma (N = 179) and non-Roma populations (N = 1670). Differences between interviewer-reported and self-reported individuals of Roma ethnicity in statistical inferences were observed for only seven indicators. The self-reporting approach was more sensitive for two indicators, and the observer-reported assessment for five indicators. Based on our results, the self-reported identity can be considered as a useful approach, and the application of observer-reporting cannot considerably increase the usefulness of a survey, because the differences between Roma and non-Roma individuals are much bigger than the differences between indicators produced by self-reported or observer-reported data on individuals of Roma ethnicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Roma health; ethnicity assessment; self-reporting; observer-reporting; health interview survey Roma health; ethnicity assessment; self-reporting; observer-reporting; health interview survey
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Janka, E.A.; Vincze, F.; Ádány, R.; Sándor, J. Is the Definition of Roma an Important Matter? The Parallel Application of Self and External Classification of Ethnicity in a Population-Based Health Interview Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 353.

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