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J Educ Health Promot. 2019 Oct 24;8:210. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_358_19. eCollection 2019.

Health services utilization among slum dwellers: An experience from Iran.

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Department of Health Management, Economics and Policy, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
Health Services Management Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.



Health services utilization is a complex behavioral phenomenon affected by multiple factors including availability, distance, cost and quality of health services as well as personal attitudes, cultural beliefs, and socioeconomic characteristics. This study aimed to assess the status of health-care utilization among dwellers of slums in one of the Iran's big cities.


This was a cross-sectional study in which 559 slums people were selected using a random clustered sampling method. Data on health services utilization were collected using health equity assessment and response tool questionnaire. Data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis through SPSS ver. 22.


In this study, 42.5% (238) people who required outpatient services. 21% (118) of them were able to use them. Furthermore, among the families, who needed outpatient services during the past month, 15% (38) were able to use the services for at least once. Regarding inpatient services, 62% (349) of people needed hospitalization, of which 31% (175) were able to be hospitalized. Age (P = 0.2), gender (P = 0 <001), marital status (P = 0 <001), income status (P = 0.1), and education (P = 0.21) determined utilization of outpatient services; however, inpatient services utilization was affected by age (P = 0.03), gender (P = 0.02), marital status (P = 0 <001), and income status (P = 0.32). The final model of multiple regression showed that, there was a relationship between age (odds ratio [OR] =1.7, confidence interval [CI] 95% = 0.47-0.88), marital status (OR = 2.78, CI 95% = 0.64-1.2), and the use of inpatient services.


The utilization of health services in slum areas is not desirable. As it was showed that the utilization of health services in slums people is a multifactorial event; thus, proper planning and policy for this increasingly demand are essential.


Demand; Kerman; health services utilization; slum

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