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Life satisfaction and healthcare utilization:: Assessment of an association in people aged 50 years and above in two Sub-Saharan African countries.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Population projections predict significant increase in the ageing population in Sub-Saharan Africa and this is expected to increase healthcare utilization thereby further straining week health systems in this region. Studies have shown that life satisfaction is associated with health behaviours and outcomes, suggesting life satisfaction may influence healthcare utilization. However, whether life satisfaction influences healthcare utilization remains unstudied in Sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of this study is to assess association between life satisfaction and healthcare utilization in Ghana and South Africa. 

Methods: Study participants were 3801 Ghanaian and 2774 South Africans aged 50 years or more recruited from the nationally representative WHO Study on global AGEing and adult health. Single-item life satisfaction was the main exposure variable and outpatient visit and overnight hospital stay were the outcome measures. Multiple logistic regression was used to describe association between life satisfaction and each of the two healthcare utilization measures.

Results: After adjusting for all the covariates, being dissatisfied with life was associated with increased odds of outpatient visits for both men and women in Ghana (men OR: 2.86; CI: 1.86 - 4.4 and women OR: 3.4; CI: 2.19 - 5.27). There was no significant association observed between life satisfaction and outpatient visit in South Africa (men OR: 1.07; CI: 0.57 - 2.02 and women OR: 1.33; CI: 0.76 - 2.3). Men that were dissatisfied with their lives were more likely to stay overnight in hospital in both countries (Ghana OR: 2.52; CI: 1.51 - 4.22 and South Africa OR: 2.31; CI: 1.05 - 5.06). No significant association was observed between life satisfaction and overnight hospital stay in both Ghana and South Africa (OR: 1.38; CI 0.84 - 2.27 and OR: 1.42; CI: 0.69 - 2.93) respectively.

Conclusion: Though national and gender differences may exist, being dissatisfied with life is associated with higher odds of healthcare utilization and may be a potential target for improving health and consequently minimising costs due to ill health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 22
Series
Centre for Public Health Report Series, ISSN 1651-341X ; 2017:1
Keywords [en]
Life satisfaction, outpatient visit, overnight hospital stay, healthcare utilization, Ghana, South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-140753OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-140753DiVA, id: diva2:1150318
External cooperation
WHO SAGE - Paul Kowal
Educational program
Master's Programme in Public Health
Presentation
2017-05-22, Natural Sciences building N210, Umeå, 14:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-12-19 Created: 2017-10-18 Last updated: 2017-12-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
More styles
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  • de-DE
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More languages
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  • asciidoc
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