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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - International Journal for Equity in Health
Title Determinants of access to healthcare by older persons in Uganda: a cross-sectional study
Author(s)
Volume 14
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 26
URL http://www.equityhealthj.com/content/14/1/26/
Abstract
Background
Older persons report poor health status and greater need for healthcare. However, there is limited research on older persons’ healthcare disparities in Uganda. Therefore, this paper aimed at investigating factors associated with older persons’ healthcare access in Uganda, using a nationally representative sample.

Methods
We conducted secondary analysis of data from a sample of 1602 older persons who reported being sick in the last 30 days preceding the Uganda National Household Survey. We used frequency distributions for descriptive data analysis and chi-square tests to identify initial associations. We fit generalized linear models (GLM) with the poisson family and the log link function, to obtain incidence risk ratios (RR) of accessing healthcare in the last 30 days, by older persons in Uganda.

Results
More than three quarters (76%) of the older persons accessed healthcare in the last 30 days. Access to healthcare in the last 30 days was reduced for older persons from poor households (RR?=?0.91, 95% CI: 0.83-0.99); with some walking difficulty (RR?=?0.90, 95% CI: 0.83-0.97); or with a lot of walking difficulty (RR?=?0.84, 95% CI: 0.75-0.95). Conversely, accessing healthcare in the last 30 days for older persons increased for those who earned wages (RR?=?1.08, 95% CI: 1.00-1.15) and missed work due to illness for 1–7 days (RR?=?1.19, 95% CI: 1.10-1.30); and 8–14 days (RR?=?1.19, 95% CI: 1.07-1.31). In addition, those who reported non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, hypertension or diabetes (RR?=?1.09, 95% CI: 1.01-1.16); were more likely to access healthcare during the last 30 days.

Conclusion
In the Ugandan context, health need factors (self-reported NCDs, severity of illness and mobility limitations) and enabling factors (household wealth status and earning wages in particular) were the most important determinants of accessing healthcare in the last 30 days among older persons.

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