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Differences in health care-seeking behavior during economic recession
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2885-0635
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences.
Samhällsmedicin, Landstinget Gävleborg.
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2014 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 24, no Suppl. 2Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

In Europe, equitable access to high-quality healthcare constitutes a key challenge for health systems across the continent. However, the recent economic recession left many outside the labour market, causing many to fall in poverty and social exclusion. Unemployment is probably the main factor leading to social exclusion. Studies which analysed health seeking behaviour among unemployed people have reported a variety of results, from low to high utilization of health services. However, some researchers argue that during stressful economic and social circumstances can cause high utilization of the health care system due to increased psychological disorders masked by physical complaints. This study examined differences in health seeking behaviour in Gävleborg County, which at the pick of the economic recession had high levels of unemployment as compared to the national average.

Methods

The data for the study come from the 2010 Survey of Health in Equal terms carried out in Gävleborg County, Sweden. The sample included 4245 persons aged 16-65 years. Descriptive and binary logistic analysis was used to assess differences in health seeking behavior by employment status.

Results

There was a statistical significant relationship between employment status and health-seeking behavior. Compared to employed persons, people who were out of the labor market had odds ratio of 1.42 (1.12-1.62) for contact with health care services; of 1.30 (1.12-1.50) for contact with a doctor in a health care facility and 1.67 (1.42-1.97) for contact with a doctor in a hospital. Controlling for age, sex, marital status, education, income, smoking habits, physical activity, self-rated health, and long standing illness removed the statistical significance of the observed relationships. Thus, the odds for contact with health care services went from.

Conclusions

At the pic of the recent economic recession, people who were outside the labor market had more contact with health care services, with doctor in hospitals as well as primary health care services as compared to employed counterparts. The differences in health seeking behavior were explained by demographic, socioeconomic and health variables.

Key Words: Employment status, Health care, Gävleborg, economic recession.

Key messages

  • People who were out of labor market in Gävleborg County in 2010 had more contact with health care services, with a doctor in hospital and primary health care respectively.

  • Future studies are warranted that can assess trends in health-seeking behavior among people outside Gävleborgs labor market.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 24, no Suppl. 2
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-17926DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/cku161.085OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-17926DiVA: diva2:762135
Conference
The European Public Health Conference (EUPHA), Glasgow 2014
Available from: 2014-09-11 Created: 2014-11-10 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Macassa, GloriaAhmadi, NaderHiswåls, Anne-Sofie
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CiteExportLink to record
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