Self reported patterns of health service utilization: an urban-rural comparison in South Australia
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.
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ABSTRACT: Telephone interviewing is increasingly being used to obtain data on health issues. Propertly applied telephone interviewing may have considerable cost benefits, but careful thought has to be put into the design of surveys, weighting and analysis of data to avoid major sources of bias. This study is a hypothetical exercise comparing health estimates from a systematic, self-weighting, multistage, clustered, area sample of households using a face-to-face interview method, with hypothetical samples of people obtained from Random Digit Dialling and Electronic White Pages. In a comparison of the population health estimates obtained for a number of health problems in a hypothetical analysis of these samples, the confidence intervals for the estimates overlapped. Since the estimates are not statistically significantly different, it appears that well-planned, appropriately weighted and analysed telephone surveys can be a less expensive way of obtaining health information, however, some caution is expressed in using this method.Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 05/1998; 22(2):223-6. · 1.64 Impact Factor
- Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 05/2008; 23(6):627 - 633. · 1.64 Impact Factor