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This study seeks to identify healthcare utilization patterns following symptomatic respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and the variables that may influence these patterns.
RTIs are responsible for the bulk of the primary healthcare burden worldwide. Yet, the use of health services for RTIs displays great discrepancies between populations. This research examines the influence of social demographics, economic factors, and accessibility on healthcare utilization following RTIs.
Structured interviews were administered by trained physicians at the households of informants selected by cluster randomization. Descriptive and multivariate binary logistic regression analysis was performed to assess healthcare utilization and associated independent variables.
A total of 60 678 informants completed the interviews. Of the 2.9% informants exhibiting upper RTIs, 69.5–73.9% sought clinical care. Healthcare utilization rates for common cold, influenza, nine acute upper RTIs, and overall RTIs demonstrate statistically significant associations with the variables of age, type of residence, employment, medical insurance, annual food expenditure, distance to medical facilities, and others. The odds ratios for healthcare utilization rates varied substantially, ranging from 0.026 to 9.364. More than 69% of informants with RTIs sought clinical interventions. These findings signify a marked issue with the large amount of healthcare for self-limited RTIs.
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