Health and healthcare utilization among single mothers and single fathers in Sweden
2006 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, Vol. 34, no 2, 182-9 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Aims: To analyse self-rated health and healthcare utilization with regard to whether the respondents were single or coupleparents, mothers or fathers. Methods: A postal questionnaire was distributed nationwide to 4,000 randomly chosenindividuals 20–64 years of age, with a response rate of 66%. A total of 1,041 respondents had legal custody of a child (150were single parents and 891 were couple parents), and thus met the definition of a parent used for this study. Analyses ofself-rated health and health care utilization were performed according to sex, age, sociodemographic, and socioeconomiccharacteristics. Three different statistical methods were applied: Spearman correlation analyses, chi-square analyses andmultivariate logistic regression. Results: Both single fathers and single mothers reported worse health than their couplecounterparts. However, single fathers had contact with a physician more frequently (OR 1.84) than couple fathers, whereassingle mothers did not. Furthermore, single mothers refrained from seeing a physician despite a medical need much moreoften (OR 2.07) than couple mothers. Conclusions: An uneven distribution of sociodemographic and socioeconomiccharacteristics might help us to understand why single parents, both mothers and fathers, have worse health than parentswho live together. Previously recognized gender differences with regard to healthcare utilization were present in our study aswell, and it is possible that these differences are related to the unequal distribution of sociodemographic and socioeconomicassets between single fathers and single mothers found here.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 34, no 2, 182-9 p.
Equity, health, healthcare, single parent, socioeconomic factors
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-79625DOI: 10.1080/14034940500325939PubMedID: 16581711OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-79625DiVA: diva2:107538