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01.12.2012 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2012

Professional health care use and subjective unmet need for social or emotional problems: a cross-sectional survey of the married and divorced population of Flanders

Zeitschrift:
BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2012
Autoren:
Elien Colman, Sara Symoens, Piet Bracke
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1472-6963-12-420) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

EC drafted the manuscript, and analyzed and interpreted the data. SS and PB assisted in data-analyzing interpretation, contributed to writing, and provided feedback on drafts. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Background

The high mental health care consumption rates of divorced singles may constitute a heavy burden on the public health care system. This raises the question of whether their higher health care use stems from a greater need, or whether there are other factors contributing to these high consumption rates. We examine both health care use and subjective unmet need (perceiving a need for care without seeking it) because of social or emotional problems of the divorced singles, the repartnered divorcees, and the married. Moreover, we investigate how health care use and subjective unmet need relate to each other.

Methods

We conduct several gender specific logistic regressions employing data from the Divorce in Flanders Survey (N men = 2884; N women = 3317).

Results

Results show that the divorced singles have more contact with professional health care providers (general practitioners, psychiatrists, and psychologists) because of social or emotional problems, and more often perceive unmet needs. The higher health care use rates and greater subjective unmet needs can largely be attributed to higher levels of depressive symptoms. Surprisingly, we find that non-frequent health care users more often perceive a subjective unmet need than frequent health care users and those who have not contacted any health care provider.

Conclusion

The single divorced consult health care providers more often because of social or emotional problems and they also perceive unmet needs more often.
Zusatzmaterial
Additional file 1: Characteristics of the sample of men and the sample of women. Characteristics of the sample of men and the sample of women. (DOCX 19 KB)
12913_2012_2424_MOESM1_ESM.docx
Additional file 2: Mean scores for men and women on depression and self-rated health by partner status. Mean scores for men and women on depression and self-rated health by partner status. (DOC 32 KB)
12913_2012_2424_MOESM2_ESM.doc
Additional file 3: Correlates of health care use, considering predisposing (Model 0), enabling (Model 1), and need factors (Model 2) among men (results of logistic regressions). Correlates of health care use among men. (DOC 66 KB)
12913_2012_2424_MOESM3_ESM.doc
Additional file 4: Correlates of health care use, considering predisposing (Model 0), enabling (Model 1), and need factors (Model 2) among women (results of logistic regressions). Correlates of health care use among women. (DOC 64 KB)
12913_2012_2424_MOESM4_ESM.doc
Additional file 5: Correlates of subjective unmet need considering predisposing (Model 0), enabling (Model 1), and need factors (Model 2) and frequency of care use (Model 3) among men (results of logistic regressions). Correlates of subjective unmet need among men. (DOC 86 KB)
12913_2012_2424_MOESM5_ESM.doc
Additional file 6: Correlates of subjective unmet need considering predisposing (Model 0), enabling (Model 1), and need factors (Model 2) and frequency of care use (Model 3) among women (results of logistic regressions. Correlates of subjective unmet need among women. (DOC 84 KB)
12913_2012_2424_MOESM6_ESM.doc
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