Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7591-6.
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Community health services have played an important role in the prevention and control of diabetes in China. The aims of this study were to examine the frequency of visits to community clinics for diabetic care services, to assess factors correlated with infrequent primary care visits and to identify barriers to regular follow-up visits for urban and rural patients.
Between October 2014 and November 2014, data were collected from 17 communities in two cities and four townships located in Shandong and Jiangsu Provinces in China. A total of 1598 diabetic patients aged 18 years or older who were registered with a primary health station in local communities were selected by simple random sampling. Each participant was required to complete an interviewer-led questionnaire. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to identify significant factors for infrequent visitor status using multivariable logistic regression analysis.
After being clearly informed of the study protocol, 1508/1598 (94.4%) patients agreed to participate in this survey. Among the 1508 subjects (mean age 64.4 ± 10.6), 683 (45.3%) were classified as infrequent visitors. The following were significant factors determining infrequent visitor status: urban residence, lack of health insurance, per-capita household income< 20,000 (yuan), lack of telephone follow-up and lack of household visit. From the patients’ perspectives, the reasons for infrequent visits among urban patients included drug scarcity and longer travel time to clinics. For rural patients, worries about medical expenses and drug scarcity were the most common barriers to clinic visits.
Determinants of infrequent community visits in diabetes patients include urban residence, lower household income, lack of health insurance, lack of telephone follow-up and lack of household visit services. Strategies aimed at enhancing the utilization of community health care should be implemented in China.