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Predictors of GP service use: a community survey of an elderly Australian sample

Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health

Author: Korten, A. E., Jacomb, P. A., Jiao, Z., Christensen, H., Jorm, A. F., Henderson, A. S., Rodgers, B.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1998


As part of a study of an elderly community-dwelling Australian population, predictors of general practitioner (GP) service use were identified. The sample of 897 persons, aged 70 years or older and living in Canberra and Queanbeyan, were interviewed about their health and well-being. Data on the number of GP visits in the following 12-month period were obtained from the Health Insurance Commission. There were important gender differences in the prediction of both contact and volume of service use. Need variables (physical health in men, and disability and anxiety in women) were the most important predictors. Men who were older or who had lower occupational status used more medical services, as did women with less education or higher levels of extraversion. Men with lower social support were less likely to contact a GP, but social support was not related to volume of service use for either men or women. Since at most 21% of the variance in the volume of GP service use could be explained, despite the wide range of predictors considered and the different statistical approaches adopted, better measures of service use and predictors need to be developed.

Further Details

Pages: 609-15
Volume: 22
Issue: 5
Accession Number: December, 2010
Keywords: Australian Capital Territory, older, health improvement
Reads: 168