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Social differences in postponing a General Practitioner visit in Flanders, Belgium: which low-income patients are most at risk?

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Abstract
One of the main goals of primary care is providing equitable health-care, meaning equal access, equal treatment and equal outcomes of healthcare for all in equal need. Some studies show that patients from lower socioeconomic groups visit a GP more often, while other studies show that they are more likely to postpone a visit to a GP. In this study, we want to explore within the social group of low-income patients living in Flanders, Belgium, which patients have a higher risk of postponing a visit to a GP. A face-to-face questionnaire was administered among 606 low-income users of Public Social Services. The questionnaire consisted of questions on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, social networks, health and healthcare use. A multivariate logistic regression model was built to study the relationship between postponing or cancelling a GP visit which respondents thought they needed and variables on health, socio-demographic background. The multivariate regression indicates that depression, self-rated health and trust in the GP independently predict postponing a visit to a GP. Low-income people with a low trust in the GP, people with a poor self-rated health and people suffering from a severe depression are more likely to postpone or cancel a GP visit they thought they needed compared to other people on low incomes. This might indicate that the access to health-care for low-income people might be hindered by barriers which are not directly linked to the cost of the consultation.
Keywords
MEDICAL-CARE, consultation, doctor-patient relationship, health disparities, low-income people, primary care, social class, HEALTH-SERVICES, SOCIOECONOMIC DIFFERENCES, UNITED-STATES, CONTINUITY, POPULATION, COMMUNICATION, INEQUALITIES, DEPRIVATION, QUALITY

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MLA
Verlinde, Evelyn, et al. “Social Differences in Postponing a General Practitioner Visit in Flanders, Belgium: Which Low-Income Patients Are Most at Risk?” HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY, vol. 21, no. 4, 2013, pp. 364–72, doi:10.1111/hsc.12027.
APA
Verlinde, E., Poppe, A., DeSmet, A., Hermans, K., De Maeseneer, J., Van Audenhove, C., & Willems, S. (2013). Social differences in postponing a General Practitioner visit in Flanders, Belgium: which low-income patients are most at risk? HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY, 21(4), 364–372. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12027
Chicago author-date
Verlinde, Evelyn, Annelien Poppe, Ann DeSmet, Koen Hermans, Jan De Maeseneer, Chantal Van Audenhove, and Sara Willems. 2013. “Social Differences in Postponing a General Practitioner Visit in Flanders, Belgium: Which Low-Income Patients Are Most at Risk?” HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY 21 (4): 364–72. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12027.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Verlinde, Evelyn, Annelien Poppe, Ann DeSmet, Koen Hermans, Jan De Maeseneer, Chantal Van Audenhove, and Sara Willems. 2013. “Social Differences in Postponing a General Practitioner Visit in Flanders, Belgium: Which Low-Income Patients Are Most at Risk?” HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY 21 (4): 364–372. doi:10.1111/hsc.12027.
Vancouver
1.
Verlinde E, Poppe A, DeSmet A, Hermans K, De Maeseneer J, Van Audenhove C, et al. Social differences in postponing a General Practitioner visit in Flanders, Belgium: which low-income patients are most at risk? HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY. 2013;21(4):364–72.
IEEE
[1]
E. Verlinde et al., “Social differences in postponing a General Practitioner visit in Flanders, Belgium: which low-income patients are most at risk?,” HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 364–372, 2013.
@article{3177867,
  abstract     = {{One of the main goals of primary care is providing equitable health-care, meaning equal access, equal treatment and equal outcomes of healthcare for all in equal need. Some studies show that patients from lower socioeconomic groups visit a GP more often, while other studies show that they are more likely to postpone a visit to a GP. In this study, we want to explore within the social group of low-income patients living in Flanders, Belgium, which patients have a higher risk of postponing a visit to a GP. A face-to-face questionnaire was administered among 606 low-income users of Public Social Services. The questionnaire consisted of questions on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, social networks, health and healthcare use. A multivariate logistic regression model was built to study the relationship between postponing or cancelling a GP visit which respondents thought they needed and variables on health, socio-demographic background. The multivariate regression indicates that depression, self-rated health and trust in the GP independently predict postponing a visit to a GP. Low-income people with a low trust in the GP, people with a poor self-rated health and people suffering from a severe depression are more likely to postpone or cancel a GP visit they thought they needed compared to other people on low incomes. This might indicate that the access to health-care for low-income people might be hindered by barriers which are not directly linked to the cost of the consultation.}},
  author       = {{Verlinde, Evelyn and Poppe, Annelien and DeSmet, Ann and Hermans, Koen and De Maeseneer, Jan and Van Audenhove, Chantal and Willems, Sara}},
  issn         = {{0966-0410}},
  journal      = {{HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY}},
  keywords     = {{MEDICAL-CARE,consultation,doctor-patient relationship,health disparities,low-income people,primary care,social class,HEALTH-SERVICES,SOCIOECONOMIC DIFFERENCES,UNITED-STATES,CONTINUITY,POPULATION,COMMUNICATION,INEQUALITIES,DEPRIVATION,QUALITY}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{4}},
  pages        = {{364--372}},
  title        = {{Social differences in postponing a General Practitioner visit in Flanders, Belgium: which low-income patients are most at risk?}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12027}},
  volume       = {{21}},
  year         = {{2013}},
}

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