In the UK, the general practitioner (GP) is the main health service contact for older people.
The increasing number of older people and a rise in reported morbidity among this group suggest that expenditure on GP services is set to increase.
Using the Health and Lifestyle Survey, carried out in the UK in 1991/2, this stud y aims to examine who consults GPs and why.
Many studies have looked at the GP consultation rates of older people in relation to sociodemographic, physical and psychological factors, but there is little research in relation to health beliefs.
This analysis looks at the effect of older people's health beliefs on GP consultation rates, in conjunction with health and symptom experience.
Our results showed that two health beliefs were significantly associated with higher GP consultation rates (a belief in the importance of good health and a belief that they do not have to be very ill before they consult).
However, on the whole, symptom experience had a greater effect on consultation rates.
People who consulted a GP within the previous month had more symptoms, had higher levels of physical limitation and were in need of treatment/symptom investigation.
Our findings do not indicate an'inappropriate'use of GP services by older people.
However, we suggest that it is not merely the presence of symptoms that prompts a consultation but it is the impact of these symptoms on the individual's ability to function that is significant.
Mots-clés Pascal : Santé, Attitude, Comportement, Consultation, Médecin, Taux, Morbidité, Evaluation, Personne âgée, Homme, Royaume Uni, Europe, Personnel sanitaire, Santé physique
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Health, Attitude, Behavior, Consultation, Physician, Rate, Morbidity, Evaluation, Elderly, Human, United Kingdom, Europe, Health staff
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 99-0050529
Code Inist : 002B30A01A2. Création : 31/05/1999.