Forgone care among middle aged and elderly with chronic diseases in China

evidence from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study Baseline Survey

Xiangjun Li, Mingsheng Chen, Zhonghua Wang, Lei Si

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Abstract

Objective: In general, published studies analyse healthcare utilisation, rather than foregone care, among different population groups. The assessment of forgone care as an aspect of healthcare system performance is important because it indicates the gap between perceived need and actual utilisation of healthcare services. This study focused on a specific vulnerable group, middle-aged and elderly people with chronic diseases, and evaluated the prevalence of foregone care and associated factors among this population in China.
Methods: Data were obtained from a nationally representative household survey of middle-aged and elderly individuals (≥45 years), the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, which was conducted by the National School of Development of Peking University in 2013. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse sample characteristics and the prevalence of foregone care. Andersen’s healthcare utilisation and binary logistic models were used to evaluate the determinants of foregone care among middle-aged and elderly individuals with chronic diseases.
Results: The prevalence of foregone outpatient and inpatient care among middle-aged and elderly people was 10.21% and 6.84%, respectively, whereas the prevalence of foregone care for physical examinations was relatively high (57.88%). Predisposing factors, including age, marital status, employment, education and family size, significantly affected foregone care in this population. Regarding enabling factors, individuals in the highest income group reported less foregone inpatient care or physical examinations compared with those in the lowest income group. Social healthcare insurance could significantly reduce foregone care in outpatient and inpatient situations; however, these schemes (except for urban employee medical insurance) did not appear to have a significant impact on foregone care involving physical examinations.
Conclusion: In China, policy-makers may need to further adjust healthcare policies, such as health insurance schemes, and improve the hierarchical medical system, to promote reduction in foregone care and effective utilisation of health services.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere019901
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBMJ Open
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2018

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Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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