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When Elders Fail to Visit Physicians

Laurence G. Branch and Karen T. Nemeth
Medical Care
Vol. 23, No. 11 (Nov., 1985), pp. 1265-1275
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3765049
Page Count: 11
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When Elders Fail to Visit Physicians
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Abstract

Among people over age 70, 17% reported instances of not seeing a physician during the previous year when they thought they should for any one of four reasons, and 12% specifically because they thought the problem was due to their age. Elders with lower income, lower morale, and diminished health status were more likely to report instances of not seeing the physician for reasons of perceived transportation problems, cost difficulties, or because they thought the problem was due to their age; those with higher incomes, without private insurance, living alone, male, and with lower morale were more likely to report instances of noncontact because of appointment difficulties. Elders who attributed problems to their age were more likely to be out of annual contact with a physician, as were those with less formal education, fewer functional problems, and higher morale. Elders reporting appointment difficulties in fact had increased reported frequencies of physician visits, as did those closer to age 70 than age 90, those with worse perceived health, and more functional problems. Strategies for influencing utilization are presented.

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