Does Social Isolation Affect Medical Doctor Visits? New Evidence Among European Older Adults

Abstract: We aimed to determine whether social isolation is associated with higher health-care utilization among European older adults. We have used panel data (2004?2015) from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to examine the impact of social isolation on general practitioner health-care use. More precisely, we have considered negative binomial panel count data models to study the main driving factors. Socio-demographic, health, and social isolation measures are analyzed. Differences by Welfare Regimes have been also considered. Using two definitions of social isolation (Alone and Help), we have found that a sizeable proportion of those aged 50 years and older in Europe reported social isolation. Our results showed that while nonpartnership was significantly and positively correlated with health-care utilization (? = 0.03), providing help was significantly and negatively related with physician visits considering the full sample of European countries (? = ?0.09). Differences by Welfare Regimes are highlighted. Also, Mediterranean countries consume more health-care services than other European ones. Targeting interventions for social isolated elders may significantly decrease general practitioner consultations and so health-care costs. Our findings provide several implications in current debates on the sustainability of welfare states.

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 Fuente: Applied research in quality of life, online december 2019

Editorial: Springer Netherlands

 Fecha de publicación: 01/12/2019

Nº de páginas: 18

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

DOI: 10.1007/s11482-019-09795-0

ISSN: 1871-2584,1871-2576

Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-019-09795-0