Prevalence and Predictors of Home Health Care Workers' General, Physical, and Mental Health: Findings From the 2014‒2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. By: Sterling, Madeline R.; Li, Jia; Cho, Jacklyn; Ringel, Joanna Bryan; Silver, Sharon R. American Journal of Public Health. Dec2021, Vol. 111 Issue 12, p2239-2250. 12p.

Objectives. To determine the prevalence and predictors of US home health care workers’ (HHWs’) self-reported general, physical, and mental health.

Methods. Using the 2014–2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we analyzed the characteristics and health of 2987 HHWs (weighted n = 659 000) compared with 2 similar low-wage worker groups (health care aides and health care support workers, not working in the home). We conducted multivariable logistic regression to determine which characteristics predicted HHWs’ health.

Results. Overall, 26.6% of HHWs had fair or poor general health, 14.1% had poor physical health, and 20.9% had poor mental health; the prevalence of each outcome was significantly higher than that of the comparison groups. Among HHWs, certain factors, such as low household income, an inability to see a doctor because of cost, and a history of depression, were associated with all 3 aspects of suboptimal health.

Conclusions. HHWs had worse general, physical, and mental health compared with low-wage workers not in home health. Public Health Implications. Increased attention to the health of HHWs by public health experts and policymakers is warranted. In addition, targeted interventions appropriate to their specific health needs may be required.