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Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2006;39(5): 411-418.
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
1Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea. yoonkim@snu.ac.kr
2Health Policy Team, Ministry of National Defense, Korea.
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.
Key words: Disabled persons; Health services accessibility; Utilization; Primary health care
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