The Effects of Age, Sex, and Class Stratification and the Use of Health Care Services among Older Adults in the United Kingdom
Description: As the population ages, providing health services for the growing number of older people will become an increasingly difficult problem. In countries where the health services are provided by the government, these problems are involved with complicated issues of finance and ethics. This is the case of the National Health Service, the government institution providing health care for the citizens of the United Kingdom. Knowing what social factors influence health care usage can be a link to match usage and funding. Literature has shown that health care utilization can be predicted by social factors, as well as the medical model, and from this orientation social variables were drawn from the 1994 General Household Survey. Social factors were analyzed to determine relationships that exist between certain types of health care use and these factors. Age, sex, and class, the three main factors shown in literature to affect usage, were then analyzed to determine if services are allocated on the basis of these factors or the basis of need from illness and disability. Results of the study show that of the predisposing variables, age, sex, and class, are associated with most types of health care use. From the enabling variables, both source of income and visits from friends and relatives are associated with most types of health care. Of the illness determinants, disability, limiting illness, restricted activity days and eyesight difficulty were all related to health care use. When intervening control variables were introduced, the intervening control variables of difficulty with activities of daily living and difficulty with instrumental activities of daily living had an explanatory effect on the use of home help, district nursing, consultations with a general practitioner at home, consultations with a general practitioner at a surgery or health clinic, and inpatient stays. These services were offered more according ...
Date: December 1999
Creator: Carter, Holly R.