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Subjective perceptions of unmet need for health care in Europe among social groups: Findings from the European social survey (2014) special module on the social determinants of health
Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim.
Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Welfare and Lifecourse)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0679-4940
Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim.
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2017 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 27, no S1, 82-89 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Unmet need can be defined as the individually perceived subjective differences between servicesjudged necessary to deal with health problems and the services actually received. This study examines what factorsare associated with unmet need, as well as how reasons for unmet need are distributed across socioeconomic anddemographic groups in Europe.

Methods: Multilevel logistic regression models were employed using data fromthe 7th round of the European Social Survey, on people aged 25–75. Self-reported unmet need measured whetherrespondents had been unable to get medical consultation or treatment in the last 12 months. Reasons for unmetneed were grouped into three categories: availability, accessibility and acceptability. Health status was measuredby self-reported health, non-communicable diseases and depressive symptoms.

Results: Two-thirds of all unmetneed were due waiting lists and appointment availability. Females and young age groups reported more unmetneed. We found no educational inequalities, while financial strain was found to be an important factor for alltypes of unmet need for health care in Europe. All types of health care use and poor health were associated withunmet need. Low physician density and high out-of-pocket payments were found to be associated with unmetneed due to availability.

Conclusion: Even though health care coverage is universal in many European welfarestates, financial strain appeared as a major determinant for European citizens’ access to health care. This maysuggest that higher income groups are able to bypass waiting lists. European welfare states should, therefore,intensify their efforts in reducing barriers for receiving care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 27, no S1, 82-89 p.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-331196DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckw219OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-331196DiVA: diva2:1148702
Available from: 2017-10-12 Created: 2017-10-12 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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