1Department of Preventive Medicine, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. 2Department of Community Health Nursing, College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. 3Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVES: The changing population age structure and rapidly increasing medical costs make providing high-quality, effective medical care for the elderly a challenge. This study assessed the satisfaction with medical care in terms of comprehensiveness, general satisfaction, and accessibility among community-dwelling Korean elders. METHODS: Data were obtained from a nationwide representative sample of the older adults(aged 65 years old or older) living in the community, who participated in a 2006 telephone survey conducted using random digit dialing (n=881). General satisfaction, comprehensiveness and accessibility were measured using a 10-item satisfaction survey questionnaire. Descriptive analysis was used to assess the distribution of each of three components of subjective satisfaction. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to examine the association of each of the three components with socioeconomic variables. RESULTS: Comprehensiveness and general satisfaction were low among older people with a high socioeconomic status. Accessibility was evaluated as low among older people of low socioeconomic status, those living in rural areas and those who were medical aid beneficiaries. CONCLUSIONS: Urgent interventions should be considered in order to improve accessibility to medical care for elders of low socioeconomic status and those living in rural communities. Given the rapid aging of the population, we need to develop a monitoring system to improve the quality of geriatric care.