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The utilization of health care services and their determinants among the elderly  population of Dhulikhel municipality.

Kathmandu Univ Med J (KUMJ). 2012 Jan-Mar;10(37):34-9.


BACKGROUND: Population ageing is a common problem faced in many countries
world-wide. Due to physiological and biochemical changes in the elderly,
increased incidence of diseases is observed. There is often low use of health
services by the elderly for a variety of reasons.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the status of health care utilization and to determine the 
factors associated with utilization of health care among the elderly population
of Dhulikhel Municipality.

METHODS: A quantitative descriptive-cross sectional study, with a total number of
200 elderly people residing in Dhulikhel Municipality, was selected for the
study. Data were collected across the months of June - July 2011 applying
two-staged cluster and systematic random sampling method. Both descriptive and
inferential statistics were measured.

RESULTS: Sixty eight percent of the elderly visited medical personnel in the past
year. Eight percent of them visited the emergency department where most of them
reported with symptoms attributed to heart disease. Among 200 elderly, 12.5% of
them were admitted to the hospital and 53.0% utilized diagnostic services. Age,
marital status, activities of daily living, and regular medication showed
significant association with health services utilization at 95% level of
confidence (p >0.05).

CONCLUSION: Marital status, daily living habits, existence of chronic disease,
and regular medication demonstrated significant association with the utilization 
of health care. Social support services, informal education, and awareness
programs targeting the senior citizens and studies covering a diverse population 
are recommended.

Sanjel S, Mudbhari N, Risal A, Khanal K.


Author(s) : Dr. Ajay Risal  
Categories : Elderly Population