Will you be seeing the doctor?: A cross-sectional study examining determinants of health service utilization among Filipino older people
Crystle Cotingting, Philippines Department of Health, Philippines
This study was conducted to examine factors affecting health service utilization among older Filipinos, using Andersen’s Behavioral Model. Two hundred thirty-seven (237) randomly selected older people from Marikina City, Philippines was surveyed face-to-face on factors affecting health utilization, specifically age, civil status, educational level, employment, sex, health insurance coverage, household income, chronic disease status and perceived health status.
Seventy-nine percent had used health services in the past year with an average of 5.7 visits per year. Being female (Odds Ratio: 2.2) and having a chronic disease (Odds Ratio: 3.1) were significantly associated with health utilization. But, having health insurance did not impact health service use. This may be because health care costs in the Philippines are still primarily out-of-pocket. Services covered under the Philippine national health insurance scheme need to be expanded to increase healthcare use among older Filipinos.
Furthermore, targeting men in health promotion campaigns and implementing population-based chronic disease programs can help improve the reach of health services among Filipino older people.
Note: The results of this study were previously published in the Australasian Journal on Ageing (March 2019), but has never been presented in any conference.