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Predicting health care utilization in the very old: the role of physical health, mental health, attitudinal and social factors

Journal of Aging & Health

Author: Linden, M., Horgas, A. L., Gilberg, R., Steinhagen Thiessen, E.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1997


Examines a combination of individual-based factors - eg, physical & mental health, health attitudes & beliefs, sociodemographic characteristics, & life circumstances - as predictors of health care utilization in the very old, drawing on data from the Berlin (Federal Republic of Germany) Aging Study of West Berliners (N = 516, ages 70+). Higher use of medications was most strongly predicted by more medical diagnoses, better cognitive status, & health attitude; physician contact was only weakly predicted by physical health variables, hypochondriasis, & living alone. In contrast, living alone was the greatest predictor of utilization of caregiving services, though having children nearby served as a protective factor against the need for more formal caregiving services. Results show that utilization of health care depends on interactions between physical & mental health, attitudinal, & social factors.

Further Details

Pages: 3-27
Volume: 9
Issue: 1
Accession Number: 20.5.03
Keywords: Europe, older, behavioural, carer
Reads: 170