Health Behavior and Self-Assessed Health Among Some Long-Term Unemployed Living in Turku, Finland

Filio Degni1, *, Minja Vaherkylä1, Saija Hurme2
1 Department of Public Health, University of Turku, Finland
2 Department of Development & International Health, University of Tampere, Finland

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© 2017 Degni et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Public Health, University of Turku, Finland, Tel: 358-440-280755; E-mails:; defilio@utv.f



A number of previous studies have concluded that long-term unemployment is destructive to health.


This study examined health behavior and self-assessed health of some long-term unemployed persons living in the city of Turku, in Southwestern Finland.


The qualitative data were collected from February to March 2016 from 40 long-term unemployed men and women, aged between 31 to 63 years.


Of the participants 85% (n=34) reported that their long-term unemployment situation had had a negative impact on their health. There were 95% (n=36) who needed medical care because of their health condition. There were 59% (n=24) who were not satisfied with the healthcare and social services compared to 49% (n=16) who were satisfied with the services.


There were more single men than single women among the participants. Half of the participants had a profession of which the women constituted the majority. Several participants were suffering from a chronic disease. The participants were not satisfied of their lives and attributed their health behavior and poor health conditions to their long-term unemployment situation. They were not satisfied also with the healthcare and social services provided to them.

Keywords: Health behavior , Self-assessed health , Long-term unemployment , Finland, Medical care, Social services.