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J Adolesc. 2007 Oct;30(5):773-800.

Predictors of adolescent health care utilization.

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1
Population and Community Health Unit, Family Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, Dr. Don Rix Clinical Skills Learning Building, Room 2711, London, Ont., Canada N6A 5C1. evingili@uwo.ca

Abstract

This study, using Andersen's health care utilization model, examined how predisposing characteristics, enabling resources, need, personal health practices, and psychological factors influence health care utilization using a nationally representative, longitudinal sample of Canadian adolescents. Second, this study examined whether this process varies across physicians, non-physicians, and dentists. The results indicate that need and psychological factors were strong determinants of utilization. Predisposing factors were associated with utilization, although there were few enabling resources. Differences were found for utilization of different services. Females, adolescents who were older, from single parent families, with lower self-rated health, lower health status, higher disability, higher distress and involved in health compromizing practices were more likely to visit physicians and non-physicians. Higher dentist utilization was related to higher income, single parent status, being younger, having lower health status, and higher disability. Predisposing and enabling factors were not mediators of utilization. The findings suggest that health care providers could be an important source of counselling on psychological, lifestyle issues, and physical concerns.

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