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A Prospective Analysis of the Relation Between Self-Rated Health and Health Care Use Among Elderly Canadians

  • Verena H. Menec (a1) and Judith G. Chipperfield (a1)

Abstract

Research indicates that self-rated health is related to a variety of health-related outcomes, such as mortality and functional disability, even when controlling for more “objective” health measures. The present study extends previous research by prospectively examining the relation between self-rated health and health care use among a representative sample of elderly Canadians (N = 1,181) interviewed in 1991/92. Survey data were linked to administrative records of health care use. Self-rated health was positively related to the number of physician visits during the 12 months following the survey, as well as to the number of tests incurred (e.g., laboratory tests, X-rays), even when controlling for demographic variables, functional disability, morbidity, and prior health care use. Older adults who rated their health as “bad/poor” or “fair” were also more likely to be hospitalized than those who rated their health as “excellent”. These results highlight the importance of considering global measures of health when examining health care use.

La recherche indique que l'auto-évaluation de la santé est associée sur une variété de séquelles sanitaires, notamment la mortalité et l'invalidité fonctionnelle, même dans les cas où Ton contrôle ces mesures de santé «objectives». L'étude poursuit la recherche déjà amorcée dans ce domaine et tente d'établir la relation éventuelle entre la santé auto-évaluée et l'utilisation des soins de santé dans un échantillonnage représentatif d'aîné(e)s canadien(ne)s (N= 1,181) interrogé(e)s en 1991/92. Les résultats du sondage ont été compares à des dossiers administratifs d'utilisation de soins de santé. La santé auto-évaluée était nettement reliée au nombre de visites chez le médecin durant les 12 mois qui ont suivi l'enquête ainsi qu'au nombre de tests subis (tests de laboratoire, rayons-X etc.), même en contrôlant les variables démographiques, l'invalidité fonctionnelle, la morbidité et l'utilisation antérieure des soins de santé. Les aîné(e)s qui avaient évalué leur santé comme «mauvaise» ou «acceptable» étaient également plus susceptibles d'être hospitalisés que ceux qui la jugeaient «excellente». Les résultats soulignent l'importance de la prise en compte de mesures globales de santé dans le cadre d'un examen de l'utilisation des soins de santé.

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References

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Keywords

A Prospective Analysis of the Relation Between Self-Rated Health and Health Care Use Among Elderly Canadians

  • Verena H. Menec (a1) and Judith G. Chipperfield (a1)

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