Health needs and health care utilization among rural, low-income women.
This study examined the correlates of health service utilization in a sample of low-income, rural women. Self-reported data were from Rural Families Speak (N = 275), a multi-state study of low-income, rural families in the U.S. collected in 2002. Findings indicated that women with health insurance, a regular doctor, and poorer overall physical health had higher incident rates of physician visits. Women who were divorced, separated or widowed and had more chronic health problems had higher incidence rates of emergency department (ED) use, while women living in counties with higher primary care physician rates had lower incidence rates of ED use. Future research and policies should focus on improved access to health insurance, increasing physician availability in rural areas, and providing rural women with a usual source of care, so as to reduce emergency services utilization for non-emergent needs and improve health status for this population.
Simmons, LA; Anderson, EA; Braun, B
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