Results from Five Sentinel Community Health Values Surveys: A Synthesis

A woman shares information with two men on a front porch.

The Sentinel Community Health Values Surveys (SCHVS) are part of a series of studies—conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—designed to better understand how health values and beliefs vary regionally in the United States.

The five community surveys were conducted in Baltimore, Md.; Maricopa County, Ariz.; Mobile, Ala.; Stockton, Calif.; and North Central Neb., and built upon similar work done at the national level through the American Health Values Survey (AHVS), which was completed in 2016.

The AHVS examined insights from more than 10,000 adults around their values and beliefs related to health at both the individual and societal levels. The data from this large national survey were used to create a typology, or six groups within which the American public fit, and which reflect a wide range and diversity of values and beliefs toward health. As with the national typology, researchers developed community-specific typologies, or groups, using the data from the surveys.

The community surveys highlight differences in the degree of support for health equity and population health promotion across the communities, differences that are reflected in each of the local typologies. These differences make sense given how the communities differ in terms of their dominant health values and beliefs as well as their political and race-ethnic makeup.

Despite these differences, the typologies of all five communities in many respects resemble the national typology groups. While the groups may differ in size across the communities, the patterns of values and beliefs that they represent are quite similar to the national typology.

In surveying the five communities, however, three new patterns of values and beliefs, not found in the national survey, emerged. The presence of these patterns in the surveyed communities suggests that they may appear in other places around the nation.

Community Health Values Surveys

Baltimore, Md.

Compared to adults nationwide, adults in Baltimore are:

  • More likely to report that they almost always make their personal health a priority (50.0% in Baltimore vs. 43.3% nationwide);

  • Most likely to believe strongly that access to health care affects people’s health (75.2% in Baltimore vs. 60.8% nationwide);

  • Most likely to recognize the health care access difficulties faced by:

    • African-Americans (56.7% in Baltimore vs. 30.1% nationwide) as compared to White Americans;

    • Latino Americans (51.1% in Baltimore vs. 32.0% nationwide) as compared to White Americans;

    • Low-income Americans (77.2% in Baltimore vs. 65.2% nationwide) as compared to more affluent Americans;

  • More likely to say that health should be a top federal priority (43.7% in Baltimore vs. 32.0% nationwide) and to favor more government action in health generally (58.5% in Baltimore vs. 46.8% nationwide);

  • More likely to believe that making sure all U.S. communities are healthy places to live should be a top priority (30.4% in Baltimore vs. 20.7% nationwide) and that government should be involved in community health building (38.9% in Baltimore vs. 27.5% nationwide);

  • More likely to have a bachelor’s degree or higher (36.7% in Baltimore vs. 32.9% nationwide) and;

  • Less likely to have access to medical care and more likely to have insurance coverage from Medicaid or other types of government assistance programs than other insurance sources (18.7% in Baltimore vs. 12.4% nationwide).

Based on their unique health value and belief profiles, six groups of Baltimore adults emerged from the survey:

 

Baltimore Typology Chart

The full report on Baltimore describes in more detail how the Baltimore and national typology groups differ.

View the Baltimore Research Brief

View the Baltimore Topline Report

View the Full Baltimore Report

 

Maricopa County, Ariz.

Compared to adults nationwide, adults in Maricopa County are:

  • More likely to report that they almost always make their personal health a priority (52.1% in Maricopa County vs. 43.3% nationwide) and are very confident in their knowledge of health problem prevention (47.6% in Maricopa County vs. 41.1% nationwide);

  • More likely to say that improving the health of the American people should be a top federal priority (40.2% in Maricopa County vs. 32.0% nationwide),  and are more likely to believe the government should do more to make sure Americans are healthier (51.3% in Maricopa County vs. 46.8% nationwide);

  • More likely to believe that the government should be responsible for community health building (29.3% in Maricopa County vs. 27.5% nationwide);

  • Less likely to be limited by a health problem (14.7% in Maricopa County are limited by a health problem vs. 20.3% nationwide);

  • More likely to believe that education has a very strong effect on people’s health (41.7% in Maricopa County vs. 44.7% nationwide).

Based on their unique health value and belief profiles, six groups of Maricopa County adults emerged from the survey:

Maricopy Typology Chart

The full report on Maricopa County describes in more detail how the Maricopa County and national tyopology groups differ.

View the Maricopa County Research Brief

View the Maricopa County Topline Report

View the Full Maricopa County Report

 

Mobile, Ala.

Compared to adults nationwide, adults in Mobile are:

  • More likely to recognize the health care access difficulties faced by:

    • African Americans (40.7% in Mobile vs. 30.1% nationwide as compared to White Americans);

    • Latino Americans (39.4% in Mobile vs. 32.0% nationwide), as compared to White Americans;

    • low-income Americans (72.4% in Mobile vs. 65.2% nationwide) as compared to more affluent Americans;

  • More likely to say that improving the health of the American people should be a top federal priority (43.0% in Mobile vs. 32.0% nationwide) and are more likely to believe that community health building should be a top priority (24.7% in Mobile vs. 20.7% nationwide);

  • Less likely to have Medicaid as the source of their health insurance (10.9% in Mobile vs. 12.4% nationwide), but more likely to have high blood pressure (44.4% in Mobile vs. 33.6% nationwide);

  • More likely to have had a checkup by a doctor within the last year (70.7% in Mobile, 68.9% nationwide);

  • More likely to be non-Hispanic, Black (39.9% in Mobile vs. 12.7% nationwide), less likely to be Hispanic (2.6% in Mobile vs. 14.2% nationwide) and significantly less likely to be non-Hispanic White (42.3% in Mobile vs. 70.1% nationwide);

  • Slightly less likely to have a bachelor’s degree or higher (31.9% in Mobile vs. 32.9% nationwide).

Based on their unique health value and belief profiles, six groups of Mobile adults emerged from the survey:

Mobile Typology Chart

The full report on Mobile describes in more detail how the Mobile and national typology groups differ.

View the Mobile Research Brief

View the Mobile Topline Report

View the Full Mobile Report

 

North Central Nebraska

The nine-county region of North Central Nebraska includes the counties of Antelope, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Holt, Keya Paha, Knox, Pierce, and Rock County. Compared to adults nationwide, adults in North Central Nebraska are:

  • Less likely to report that they almost always make their health a personal priority (35.8% in North Central Nebraska vs. 43.3% nationwide);  

  • Less likely to put a great deal of effort into medical screenings or preventative care (20.7% in North Central Nebraska vs. 30.8% nationwide);

  • Less likely to say that improving the health of the American people should be a top federal priority (25.7% in North Central Nebraska vs. 32.0% nationwide);

  • Less likely to recognize the health care access difficulties faced by:

    • African Americans (13.0% in North Central Nebraska vs. 30.1% nationwide) as compared to White Americans;

    • Latino Americans (13.9% in North Central Nebraska vs. 32.0% nationwide) as compared to White Americans, and;

    • low-income Americans (48.2% in North Central Nebraska vs. 65.2% nationwide) as compared to more affluent Americans;

  • Less likely to be covered by health insurance (86.1% in North Central Nebraska vs. 88.2% nationwide);

  • Less likely to have a bachelor’s degree or higher (24.4% in North Central Nebraska vs. 32.9% nationwide), but more likely to have an annual household income of approximately $50,000-$100,000 per year (24.7% in North Central Nebraska vs. 22.1% nationwide).

Based on their unique health value and belief profiles, six groups of North Central Nebraska adults emerged from the survey:

Nebraska Typology Chart

The full report on North Central Nebraska describes in more detail how the North Central Nebraska and national typology groups differ.

View the North Central Nebraska Research Brief

View the North Central Nebraska Topline Report

View the Full North Central Nebraska Report

 

Stockton, Calif.

Compared to adults nationwide, adults in Stockton are:

  • More likely to say that they almost always make health a personal priority (47.2% in Stockton vs. 43.3% nationwide);

  • More likely to view education (51.7% in Stockton vs. 44.7% nationwide) or housing quality (39.6% in Stockton vs. 31.7% nationwide) as very strong influences on health and recognize the health care access problems of Latinos (37.5% in Stockton vs. 32.0% nationwide);

  • More likely to say that improving the health of Americans should be a top federal priority (39.7% in Stockton vs. 32.0% nationwide) and that making sure all communities are healthy places to live should be a top priority (25.1% in Stockton vs. 20.7% nationwide);

  • More likely to agree that the government should be responsible for making sure adequate housing is available for all residents (36.2% in Stockton vs. 32.3% nationwide);

  • Less likely to have a bachelor’s degree or higher (22.1% in Stockton vs. 32.9% nationwide) and less likely to have an annual household income of $50,000-$100,000 per year (17.7% in Stockton vs. 22.1% nationwide)

  • Less likely to be in good health, with more insurance coverage from Medicaid or other assistance programs (22.3% in Stockton vs. 12.4% nationwide).

Based on their unique health value and belief profiles, six groups of Stockton adults emerged from the survey:

Stockton Typology Chart