Utilization of Health Care Services and Their Determinants

Population ageing is a common problem faced world-wide. Due to physiological and biochemical changes in the elderly, increased incidence of diseases is observed. There is often low use of health services by the elderly for a variety of reasons. The study was conducted to examine the status of health care utilization among the elderly population living in Dhulikhel Municipality. A quantitative descriptive-cross sectional study, with a total of 200 subjects residing in Dhulikhel Municipality, was selected for the study. Data were collected in June — July 2011 applying two-staged cluster and systematic random sampling. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were measured. Sixty eight percent of the elderly visited health institution in the past year. Eight percent of them visited the emergency department where most of them reported with symptoms attributed to heart disease. Age, marital status, activities of daily living, and regular medication showed significant association with health services utilization at 0.05. Social support services, informal education, and awareness programs targeting the senior citizens and studies covering a diverse population are recommended.

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