Self reported patterns of health service utilization: an urban-rural comparison in South Australia

South Australian Centre for Rural and Remote Health, Adelaide University, Whyalla, South Australia.
Australian Journal of Rural Health (Impact Factor: 1.55). 04/2003; 11:81-88. DOI: 10.1046/j.1440-1584.2003.00493.x

ABSTRACT To compare self-reported patterns of health service utilisation among residents of urban and rural South Australia. DESIGN, SETTING AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Secondary analysis of data generated by computer-assisted telephone interviews of 7377 adults done in 1995-6. Respondents were asked if they had used each of 18 different health services during the previous 12 months. Residence was classified in three ways: (1) capital city versus rest of the state, (2) by the Rural, Remote and Metropolitan Areas classification (RRMA) and (3) by the Accessibility and Remoteness Index for Australia classification (ARIA).
General practitioner services were most frequently used, by approximately 89% of respondents. Only 4% reported not using any service. Comparing capital city with rest of the state, modest but statistically significant differences in utilisation (P < 0.01) were measured for nine services. In eight of these nine, utilisation was higher among rural residents. Analysing by RRMA, eight services were reportedly used differently and seven of these were the same as those identified from the capital city versus rest of state comparison. Across the five ARIA categories, six previously identified services were reported as being used differentially. Overall, rural residents had a higher than expected rate of moderate and high level of health service use.
Self-reported use of a range of health services was broadly similar across urban and rural South Australia, with most cases of higher use were reported from rural areas rather than urban areas. Similar results were obtained when residence was classified in the three different ways.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this paper is to examine the continuity of care and general wellbeing of patients with comorbidities undergoing elective total hip or knee joint replacement. Advances in medical science and improved lifestyles have reduced mortality rates in most Western countries. As a result, there is an ageing population with a concomitant growth in the number of people who are living with multiple chronic illnesses, commonly referred to as comorbidities. These patients often require acute care services, creating a blend of acute and chronic illness needs. For example, joint replacement surgery is frequently performed to improve impaired mobility associated with osteoarthritis. A purposive sample of twenty participants with multiple comorbidities who required joint replacement surgery was recruited to obtain survey, interview and medical record audit data. Data were collected during 2004 and 2005. Comorbidity care was poorly co-ordinated prior to having surgery, during the acute care stay and following surgery and primarily entailed prescribed medicines. The main focus in acute care was patient throughput following joint replacement surgery according to a prescribed clinical pathway. General wellbeing was less than optimal: participants reported pain, fatigue, insomnia and alterations in urinary elimination as the chief sources of discomfort during the course of the study. Continuity of care of comorbidities was lacking. Comorbidities affected patient general wellbeing and delayed recovery from surgery. Acute care, clinical pathways and the specialisation of medicine and nursing subordinated the general problem of patients with comorbidities. Systems designed to integrate and co-ordinate chronic illness care had limited application in the acute care setting. A multidisciplinary, holistic approach is required. Recommendations for further research conclude this paper.
    Journal of Advanced Nursing 03/2007; 57(3):244-56. · 1.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose was to examine the odds of presenting with localised as opposed to more advanced cancer by place of residence to gain evidence for planning early detection initiatives. Design, settings and participant's cases of invasive cancer reported to the NSW population-based Cancer Registry for the 1980-2008 diagnostic periods. Main outcome measure(s) between 1980 and 2008, 293,848 of reported cases (40.2%), had localised cancer at diagnosis. Logistic regression analysis was undertaken to determine the odds of localised cancer by place of residence for all cancers sites combined while adjusting for age, sex, period of diagnosis, socioeconomic status, migrant status and prognosis (as inferred from cancer type). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that patients from rural areas were less likely than urban patients to present with localised cancer after adjusting for other socio-demographic factors and prognosis by cancer type (regardless of how rurality was classified). The difference ranged from 4% for remote (OR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.95-0.98) to 14% (OR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.79-0.84) for very remote compared with highly accessible areas. It is estimated that a maximum of 4,205 fewer cases of localised cancer occurred in patients from rural areas over the study period than expected from the stage distribution for urban patients. Residents aged between 30 and 74 years of age at diagnosis and those living in high socioeconomic status areas were more likely to present with localised cancer. By contrast, people aged 75 years or older at diagnosis, migrants from non-English-speaking countries and people diagnosed in more recent diagnostic periods were less likely to present with localised cancer. Targeted strategies that specifically encourage earlier diagnosis and treatment that may subsequently influence better survival are required to increase the proportion of NSW residents presenting with localised cancer at diagnosis.
    Cancer Causes and Control 11/2011; 23(2):255-62. · 3.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t This research explored the roles of 'rurality' – nonmetropolitan county population size and adjacency to metropolitan areas – on self-rated health among a nationally representative sample of US adults. Using seven years of pooled individual level data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and county-level data from the County Characteristics survey, we found that residents of remote rural counties have the greatest odds of reporting bad health and that the significant differences in self-rated health between metropolitan residents and residents of rural areas can be entirely explained by rural structural disadvantage, including higher rates of unemployment and population loss and lower levels of educational attainment.
    Health & Place 01/2011; 17:311-319. · 2.42 Impact Factor