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Trends in the Utilization of Specific Health Care Services among Older Manitobans: 1985 to 2000

  • Marcia Finlayson (a1) (a2), Lisa Lix (a2), Gregory S. Finlayson (a2) and Terry Fong (a1)


This paper examines 16-year trends in the utilization of hospital and physician services by Manitobans aged 75 and more, using data from the Manitoba Population Health Research Data Repository. Trends are examined across five measures of hospital services (separations, short-stay days, long-stay days, cataract surgeries, and hip/knee replacements) and two measures of physician care (overall visit rate, and proportion having seven or more visits). Results show changes in the utilization of these services among older adults living in Manitoba over time, with the extent of change varying with the service under consideration, age, and location of residence. Previously large utilization differentials are shown to be shrinking; for example, cataract surgery rates across regions and physician visit rates by age. For other services, such as the rates of hip or knee replacement surgery, the differences across regions are increasing. Findings indicate that global generalizations about the impact of older adults on the health care system are subject to question, as regional differences and differences between age groups (75–84, 85+) can be significant.

Cet article porte sur les tendances 16 années en matière d'utilisation des hôpitaux et des services médicaux par des Manitobains âgés de 75 ans ou plus. Les données ont été tirées du Manitoba Population Health Research Data Repository. Les tendances sont étudiées en fonction de cinq mesures relatives aux services hospitaliers (les congés des hôpitaux, les séjours de courte durée, les séjours de longue durée, les opérations de la cataracte ainsi que les remplacements de la hanche ou du genou) de même que de deux mesures relatives aux soins prodigués par des médecins (le nombre global de consultations ainsi que la proportion de personnes qui ont sept consultations ou plus). Les résultats démontrent des changements, au cours du temps, dans l'utilisation de ces services par les personnes âgées vivant au Manitoba, l'étendue de ces changements variant selon le service étudié, l'âge et le lieu de résidence. Des différences autrefois considérables en matière d'utilisation sont en train de diminuer, notamment le taux d'opérations de la cataracte selon les régions ainsi que la fréquence des visites chez le médecin selon l'âge. Pour d'autres services, notamment le taux de remplacements de la hanche ou du genou, les différences entre les régions sont en train de s'accroître. Les résultats indiquent que les généralisations relatives à l'impact des personnes âgées sur le système de santé peuvent être remises en question, puisque les différences entre les régions et entre les groupes d'âge (75 à 84, 85 ou plus) peuvent être considérables.


Corresponding author

Requests for offprints should be sent to: / Les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être addressées à : Marcia Finlayson, Ph.D., Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Illinois at Chicago,1919 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612-7250. (


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Trends in the Utilization of Specific Health Care Services among Older Manitobans: 1985 to 2000

  • Marcia Finlayson (a1) (a2), Lisa Lix (a2), Gregory S. Finlayson (a2) and Terry Fong (a1)


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