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Can Fam Physician. 1995 Mar;41:392-400.

Do widowers use the health care system differently? Does intervention make a difference?

Author information

1
Primary Care Research Unit, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the health care use patterns of widowers who had participated in a randomized trial of mutual support, and of a matched cohort of married men

DESIGN:

Retrospective audit of Ministry of Health use data

SETTING:

The family practice unit in a general teaching hospital.

PARTICIPANTS:

The 113 new widowers (61 treatment, 52 waiting-list controls) who participated in a randomized trial of mutual support, and 111 married men matched for age

INTERVENTIONS:

Mutual support program

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Monthly rates of visits to family physicians, psychiatrists, and all other specialists for the three cohorts

RESULTS:

Visit rates to family physicians and specialists (SPs) for the married men were stable for the 20 months of the study; rates for the widowers rose significantly from the time of loss to the end of the intervention (for FPs, f = 13.18, df = 2, P < .01; for SPs, f = 5.34, df = 2, P = .005). Rates for FPs declined after intervention for the treatment group, but kept rising among the controls (f = 4.17, df = 1, P = .044).

CONCLUSIONS:

The decreased physician visit rate among those taking part in the mutual support program suggests that this program met some of the widowers' social support needs that would otherwise have led to the use of health care resources.

PMID:
7773026
PMCID:
PMC2148025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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