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A Study of Outpatient Utilization Between Widowers and Widows among the Elderly in Taiwan

Shu-Hsi Ho ()
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Shu-Hsi Ho: Department of International Business, Ling Tung University, 1, Ling Tung Road, Taichung, TAIWAN

Review of Economics & Finance, 2016, vol. 6, 79-90

Abstract: Both the numbers of aging and of widowed peers are gradually increasing in Taiwan. In this context, the aim of this paper is to compare outpatient services utilization from the perspective of predisposing, enabling and need characteristics between elderly widowers and widows. Subject data were obtained from the National Health Interview Survey of Taiwan in 2009. Among these data, 998 widowed persons aged 65 years old and over were analyzed. A Chi-square test and four different logistic regression models were used to investigate the influence of predisposing, enabling and need characteristics on outpatient utilization among elderly widowed persons. The empirical findings indicated that, for the predisposing characteristics, age showed significantly different outpatient utilization for widows. Nevertheless, there was a significant education gradient in outpatient utilization for elderly widowers. Next, for the enabling characteristics, economic status and national health insurance revealed significant effects on outpatient utilization for widows but not for widowers. In addition, for need characteristics, hypertension and kidney diseases played significant predictive factors related to outpatient utilization both for widows and widowers. However, other chronic diseases revealed significant differences on outpatient utilization only for widows. Finally, empirical results further indicated that widows were more likely to use outpatient services than widowers in later life. Therefore, study findings identified that predisposing, enabling and need characteristics were strongly correlated with the utilization of outpatient services for elderly widowers and widows. Administrators and managers could add the consideration of these three import characteristics into planning for the utilization of outpatient services, designing related policies, and allocation and use of health-care resources.

Keywords: Elderly; Widowers; Widows; Logistic regression; Outpatient utilization; Healthcare services (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A10 I10 J10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
Note: Acknowledgments: The author acknowledges the NHIS data of Nation Health Research Institutes and the fellowship grant of Ministry of Science and Technology (NSC102-2410-H-275-004) of Taiwan that made this research collaboration possible.
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