Background: Unhealthy days are defined as the number of days during the past 30 days that a woman has not had a feeling of wellbeing. Wellbeing includes the woman’s judgments about the level of satisfaction and quality in her life. Assessment of a woman’s perception of unhealthy days can be used to help her determine the extent of the burdens associated with mental and physical feelings that things are not going well in her life, job and relationship. This study was conducted to measure unhealthy days and the general health status in Iranian women of reproductive age based on their own perceptions.

Methods: The participants of this study were women of reproductive age who were referred to health centers in Mashhad, Iran, in 2012. With the stratified random sampling method, 220 women were included in the study. The health-related quality of life-4 (HRQOL-4) questionnaire was used to assess the women’s self-perceived unhealthy days. The data that were collected were analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis, chi-squared, Pearson correlation, and logistic linear regression tests with SPSS 11.5.

Results: The mean age of the participants was 32.6 years, and the median number of the self-perceived unhealthy days was 7.1 days (per month). In the domains of physical, mental, and disability unhealthy days, the data indicated 2 days, 2.1 days, and 0.1 day in a month, respectively. Also, nearly half of the participants reported that their general health status was poor to fair. The Kruskal-Wallis test showed that there was a significant difference between unhealthy days in the different age groups (p=0.01) as well as for the physical (p=0.02) and mental domains (p=0.4). The results of the regression analysis showed that the number of physical unhealthy days increased with age, number of children, and education. The number of mental unhealthy days increased with age, and the number of disability days increased as the age at which they were married decreased (p<0.05). A significant inverse relationship was observed between physical unhealthy days and education, with the number of physical unhealthy days decreasing as the years of education increased (r=-0.19, p=0.005).  

Conclusion: Women with less education who were older than 40, who married at an early age, and had more children reported more unhealthy days. These results emphasize the importance of preventive and educational health interventions in these vulnerable groups based on their physical and mental needs.


Key words: Unhealthy days, Physical, Mental, Dysfunction, Women, Reproductive age
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