The Changing Use of Health Care Services by Unmarried Older Women, 1969 to 1975: Final Report to the NRTA-AARP Andrus Foundation

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Final report to the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA)- American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Andrus Foundation. This reports on a research study of the changing use of health care services by unmarried older women from 1969 to 1975.

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109 p.

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Martin, Cora A. & Eve, Susan Brown March 12, 1982.

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Final report to the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA)- American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Andrus Foundation. This reports on a research study of the changing use of health care services by unmarried older women from 1969 to 1975.

Physical Description

109 p.

Notes

Abstract: The major purpose of this research was to examine changes in the use of health care services that occur over time as older women move from their preretirement to retirement years. This project involved secondary analysis of data on 1,954 older women interviewed in the Social Security Administration's Longitudinal Retirement History Study in 1969, 1971, 1973, and 1975. First, the results of this study indicate that the use of physicians' and hospital services increased from the preretirement to the retirement years and that the percentage of women who reported that they must put off needed health care services decreases during this same period. Second, the data on use of physicians' services indicated that in preretirement and retirement years, use of physicians' services at any one point in time was due primarily to the need for care; i.e., those older women who are the least healthy are the most likely to use the services of a physician. However, this research also found that those older women with the greatest financial resources were the most likely to have used physicians' services and that those women tended to be the least in need as measured by illness and morbidity. Thus, the older women who were the most likely to use health care services were those who not only needed the services as judged by their health, but who could also afford to pay for the service. This relationship is the same both in preretirement and in the post retirement years, indicating that Medicare is not effective in access to physicians' services among lower and higher income women. Third, this research found that the use of hospital services is affected primarily by need for service in preretirment and retirement and that insurance coverage affects use of hospitals in the preretirement years. Unlike physicians' services, use of hospital services is not affected by income, perhaps due to the better coverage of hospital services than of physicians' by the Medicare program. Fourthly, older women who evaluated their income as being least adequate to meet their needs were more likely than better off women to put off needed medical care. Furthermore, in the retirement years, older women who were not only the least financially well off, but who were also in the poorest health were also the most likely to put off needed health care. Finally, the data indicates that there is a basic continuity in patterns of use of health care services and that those patterns are the strongest in predicting use of physician's services, moderately strong in predicting patterns of putting off medical care and are weakest in their ability to predict use of hospital services. The greater continuity in the patterns of use of physicians than of hospitals is perhaps due to the greater discretion which people have in choosing when to see a physician as compared to when to be hospitalized. First, the greater cost of a hospitalization relative to a physician's visit acts as a barrier to use, and second, physicians act as gatekeepers of hospital services so that a person has less freedom to choose when to be hospitalized than when to visit a physician.

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  • The changing use of health care services by unmarried older women from 1969 to 1975, Los Angeles: NRTA-AARP Andrus Foundation, 1982

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  • March 12, 1982

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  • Jan. 22, 2015, 9:04 a.m.

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Martin, Cora A. & Eve, Susan Brown. The Changing Use of Health Care Services by Unmarried Older Women, 1969 to 1975: Final Report to the NRTA-AARP Andrus Foundation, report, March 12, 1982; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc488179/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.