On an Application of Structural Equation for Modeling of Health Index
Keywords: Health index, structural equation modeling, socio demography, lifestyle, mental health.
Health of an individual is influenced by many factors. These could include factors that are related to economy, environment, social and biology. Many studies have been carried out to study the effect of these factors on health, in terms of individual factor or combined factors. In this paper, we will demonstrate the value of structural equation modeling for construction of an index for describing the health status of an individual. This method will be applied on the data based on 5051 respondents in a survey conducted in Hulu Langat in the year 2006 by the Department of Community Health, Medical Faculty, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. The survey involved gathering of information on demography, lifestyles, mental health condition and biomarkers of the respondents. The structural equation modeling is found to be pertinent to be used for analyzing the health index of a particular individual. Socio-demography and mental health condition are found to have direct effect on the health index. Meanwhile, lifestyle has an indirect effect on the health index, as mediated by the mental health. Based on the indicator of model fit, the proposed model fits the data well.