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Original Articles
Association Between Convenience of Transportation and Unmet Healthcare Needs of Rural Elderly in Korea
Youngeun Choi, Kiryong Nam, Chang-yup Kim
J Prev Med Public Health. 2019;52(6):355-365.   Published online October 3, 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.19.172
  • 9,551 View
  • 218 Download
  • 23 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
In rural areas of Korea, where public transportation infrastructure is lacking and alternative systems are poor, the elderly experience inconveniences in using healthcare, although their need is high. This study aimed to analyze the association between the convenience of transportation and unmet healthcare needs among the rural elderly.
Methods
The data used were collected in the 2016 Community Health Survey among rural elderly individuals aged 65 or older. Dependent variable was the unmet healthcare needs, explanatory variable was the convenience of transportation. The elderly were divided into 3 groups: with no driver in the household, with a driver, and the elderly individual was the driver (the self-driving group). Covariates were classified into predisposing, enabling, and need factors. They included gender, age, education, income, economic activity, household type, motor ability, subjective health level, number of chronic diseases, anxiety/depression, and pain/discomfort. The data were analyzed using logistic regression and stratification.
Results
A significant association was found between the convenience of transportation and unmet healthcare needs. When examined unadjusted odds ratio of the group with a driver in the household, using the group with no driver as a reference, was 0.61 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54 to 0.68), while that of the self-driving group was 0.34 (95% CI, 0.30 to 0.38). The odds ratios adjusted for all factors were 0.69 (95% CI, 0.59 to 0.80) and 0.79 (95% CI, 0.67 to 0.91).
Conclusions
We confirmed a significant association between inconvenient transportation and unmet healthcare needs among the rural elderly even after adjustment for existing known factors. This implies that policies aimed at improving healthcare accessibility must consider the means of transportation available.
Summary
Korean summary
대중교통 인프라가 부족하고 대안적 교통수단 체계가 미흡한 농촌 지역 노인들은 의료 필요는 높으나 도보이동이나 불편한 이동수단을 이용하기 어려워 의료이용에 불편을 겪는다. 본 연구는 의료접근성 향상과 불평등한 접근성 문제에 대한 제안의 근거 마련을 목적으로 질병관리본부 지역사회건강조사 데이터를 이용하여 농촌 노인의 이동수단의 편의성과 미충족의료 경험의 연관성을 살펴보았다. 분석결과 농촌지역 노인에게 교통편 불편은 미충족의료 경험의 주된 이유로 나타났고 기존에 알려진 요인들을 보정한 후에도 이동수단의 편의성과 미충족의료 경험 사이에 유의한 관계가 있음을 확인하였다.

Citations

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The Association Among Individual and Contextual Factors and Unmet Healthcare Needs in South Korea: A Multilevel Study Using National Data
Seung Eun Lee, Miyeon Yeon, Chul-Woung Kim, Tae-Ho Yoon
J Prev Med Public Health. 2016;49(5):308-322.   Published online September 7, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.16.035
  • 8,116 View
  • 208 Download
  • 14 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The objective of this study is to investigate associations between contextual characteristics and unmet healthcare needs in South Korea after accounting for individual factors.
Methods
The present study used data from the 2012 Korean Community Health Survey (KCHS) of 228 902 adults residing within 253 municipal districts in South Korea. A multilevel analysis was conducted to investigate how contextual characteristics, defined by variables that describe the regional deprivation, degree of urbanity, and healthcare supply, are associated with unmet needs after controlling for individual-level variables.
Results
Of the surveyed Korean adults, 12.1% reported experiencing unmet healthcare needs in the past. This figure varied with the 253 districts surveyed, ranging from 2.6% to 26.2%. A multilevel analysis found that the association between contextual characteristics and unmet needs varied according to the factors that caused the unmet needs. The degree of urbanity was associated with unmet need due to “financial burden” (odds ratio [OR], 0.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.42 to 0.66 for rural vs. metropolitan), but not unmet need due to “service not available when needed.” There were no significant associations between these unmet need measures and regional deprivation. Among individual-level variables, income level showed the highest association with unmet need due to “financial burden” (OR, 5.63; 95% CI, 4.76 to 6.66), while employment status showed a strong association with unmet need due to “service not available when needed.”
Conclusions
Our finding suggests that different policy interventions should be considered for each at-risk population group to address the root cause of unmet healthcare needs.
Summary

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Comparative Study
Differences in Medical Care Utilization Rates of the Disabled and the Non-disabled with Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions.
Sang Jun Eun, Jee Young Hong, Jin Yong Lee, Jin Seok Lee, Yoon Kim, Yong Ik Kim, Youngsoo Shin
J Prev Med Public Health. 2006;39(5):411-418.
  • 2,366 View
  • 62 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this study was to determine whether the disabled have worse access to primary care than the non-disabled. METHODS: We used the National Disability Registry data and the National Health Insurance data for the calendar year 2003, and we analyzed 807,380 disabled persons who had been registered until December 2001 and we also analyzed 1,614,760 non-disabled persons for nine ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSCs). The rates of physician visits and hospitalizations for the patients with ACSCs were compared between the disabled and the nondisabled. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between medical care utilization and disability and to assess the association between hospitalization and the number of physician visits while controlling for potential confounders. RESULTS: The numbers of physician visits per 100 patients were 0.78~0.97 times lower for the disabled than that for the non-disabled with five of nine ACSCs. The numbers of hospitalizations per 100 patients were 1.16~1.77 times higher for the disabled than that for the non-disabled with all the ACSCs. While the ORs of a physician visit for the disabled were significantly lower than that for the non-disabled with all the ACSCs (OR: 0.44~0.70), and the ORs of hospitalization for the disabled were significantly higher (OR: 1.16~1.89). The lower physician visit group (number of physician visits < or =1) was more likely to be hospitalized than the higher physician visit group (number of physician visits > or =2) (OR: 1.69~19.77). The effect of the physician visit rate on hospitalization was larger than the effect of disability on hospitalization. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the disabled were more likely to be hospitalized for ACSCs due to their lower access to primary care.
Summary

JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health