Age, sex and primary care setting differences in patients’ perception of community healthcare seeking behaviour towards health services

Ming Tsuey Lim, Yvonne Mei Fong Lim, Seng Fah Tong, Sheamini Sivasampu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction Understanding the potential determinants of community healthcare seeking behaviour helps in improving healthcare utilisation and health outcomes within different populations. This in turn will aid the development of healthcare policies and planning for prevention, early diagnosis and management of health conditions. Objective To evaluate patients’ perception of community healthcare seeking behaviour towards both acute and preventive physical and psychosocial health concerns by sex, age and type of primary care setting (as a proxy for affordability of healthcare). Methods A total of 3979 patients from 221 public and 239 private clinics in Malaysia were interviewed between June 2015 and February 2016 using a patient experience survey questionnaire from the Quality and Cost of Primary Care cross-sectional study. Multivariable logistic regression analysis adjusted for the complex survey design was used. Results After adjusting for covariates, more women than men perceived that most people would see their general practitioners for commonly consulted acute and preventive physical and some psychosocial health concerns such as stomach pain (adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 1.64; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.22–2.21), sprained ankle (AOR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.06–1.56), anxiety (AOR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.12–1.55), domestic violence (AOR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.13–1.62) and relationship problems (AOR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.02–1.51). There were no significant differences in perceived healthcare seeking behaviour by age groups except for the removal of a wart (AOR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.12–1.76). Patients who visited the public clinics had generally higher perception of community healthcare seeking behaviour for both acute and preventive physical and psychosocial health concerns compared to those who went to private clinics. Conclusions Our findings showed that sex and healthcare affordability differences were present in perceived community healthcare seeking behaviour towards primary care services. Also perceived healthcare seeking behaviour were consistently lower for psychosocial health concerns compared to physical health concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0224260
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume14
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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Community Health Services
health services
Health Services
Primary Health Care
Health
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
gender
Delivery of Health Care
odds ratio
confidence interval
affordability
Warts
Domestic Violence
Policy Making
family violence
Malaysia
Proxy
Ankle
Regression analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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Age, sex and primary care setting differences in patients’ perception of community healthcare seeking behaviour towards health services. / Lim, Ming Tsuey; Fong Lim, Yvonne Mei; Tong, Seng Fah; Sivasampu, Sheamini.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 14, No. 10, e0224260, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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