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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1991;24(3): 328-338.
Health status and medical care utilization patterns of rural aged.
Jang Kyun Oh
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Korea.
To find out the state of illness, patterns of medical care utilization, and factors which determine medical care utilization for aged we surveyed 679 rural old persons who live in the Chungnam province from Jan. 10 1991 to Jan. 19. The major findings of this study were as follows; 1. The morbidity rate of chronic illness during last 3 months was 56.4% for all surveyed old persons; 58.7% for female and 52.8% for male. 2. As expected, 80 years old or above group showed the highest morbidity rate, 60.2% and the 65-69 years age group was the lowest, 50.5%. 3. Old persons who are householder, whose family income is less than 290,000 won per month, and who receive benefits from the public medical assistance program had relative higher morbidity rate than other groups and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05). 4. The most frequent chronic illness was musculoskeletal disease, 49.6%; the disease from which the aged had suffered for the longest period was gastrointestinal, 11.6yrs; the cerebrovascular was the disease which inflicts the lowest level of physical ability. 5. 67.1% of 383 persons who were suffering from chronic illness were in need of medical care but unmet; among the remaining 32.9% who utilized medical care, 19.2% utilized it in local clinics or hospital OPD and 15% in the health centers of subcenters. 6. Old person who are married, whose sons are householder and whose family income is 500,000 won or above per month showed relative higher utilization rate than other groups and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05). 7. The most common reason why the aged did not utilize, in spite of, need medical care was economic problem, 35.4%. For the aged whose family income per month is 500,000 won or above, however the most common reason was tolerable symptom, 46.9% while persons who answered economic problem were 6.1% of them, the lowest frequency.
Key words: Health Status; Medical Care Utilization; Rural Aged
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