menu ☰
menu ˟

IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1553: Determinants of Frequent Attendance of Outpatient Physicians: A Longitudinal Analysis Using the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP)

02 May 2019

IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 1553: Determinants of Frequent Attendance of Outpatient Physicians: A Longitudinal Analysis Using the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP)

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph16091553

Authors:
Moritz Hadwiger
Hans-Helmut König
André Hajek

There is a lack of population-based longitudinal studies which investigates the factors leading to frequent attendance of outpatient physicians. Thus, the purpose of this study was to analyze the determinants of frequent attendance using a longitudinal approach. The used dataset comprises seven waves (2002 to 2014; n = 28,574 observations; ranging from 17 to 102 years) from the nationally representative German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). The number of outpatient physician visits in the last three months was used to construct the dependent variable “frequent attendance”. Different cut-offs were used (top 25%; top 10%; top 5%). Variable selection was based on the “behavioral model of health care use” by Andersen. Accordingly, variables were grouped into predisposing, enabling, and need characteristics as well as health behavior, which are possible determinants of frequent attendance. Conditional fixed effects logistic regressions were used. As for predisposing characteristics, regressions showed that getting married and losing one’s job increased the likelihood of frequent attendance. Furthermore, age was negatively associated with the outcome measure. Enabling characteristics were not significantly associated with the outcome measure, except for the onset of the “practice fee”. Decreases in mental and physical health were associated with an increased likelihood of frequent attendance. Findings were robust across different subpopulations. The findings of this study showed that need characteristics are particularly important for the onset of frequent attendance. This might indicate that people begin to use health services frequently when medically indicated.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health