A strategy to promote population-wide life satisfaction while advancing equity Journal Article uri icon

abstract

  • OBJECTIVES: To develop a strategy to promote life satisfaction with equity for a diverse insured population. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey and claims analysis. METHODS: We conduct an ongoing survey of a stratified random sample of adult plan members. Among other questions, the survey asks about adequacy of physical activity, healthy eating, abstinence from tobacco, limited alcohol consumption, adequate sleep, and whether the respondent takes time to think about the good things that happen to them (hereafter referred to as "healthy thinking"). We assessed the association of demographic characteristics and the 6 behaviors with life satisfaction. RESULTS: We found that although all 6 behaviors were positively associated with life satisfaction, healthy thinking was the behavior associated with the greatest difference in life satisfaction between individuals who did and those who did not practice the behavior. We also found that although members insured through Medicaid or who had a psychosocial diagnosis tended to report significantly lower levels of life satisfaction, two-thirds of the opportunity to improve life satisfaction across the member population was among individuals with neither of these attributes. CONCLUSIONS: The most effective strategy to promote both overall life satisfaction and equity will address social determinants for members with unmet social needs, provide the behavioral and mental health services that benefit members with these needs, and promote healthy lifestyles with an emphasis on healthy thinking for the entire population.

publication date

  • 2020