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Enfermería Global

On-line version ISSN 1695-6141


GIL-LACRUZ, Marta; GIL-LACRUZ, Ana Isabel  and  AGUILAR PALACIO, Isabel. The socio-economic vulnerability in a neighborhood determines the use and frequentation of health services. Enferm. glob. [online]. 2015, vol.14, n.38, pp.178-189. ISSN 1695-6141.

Objectives: To analyze the association between socioeconomic vulnerability and use and frequentation of health care attention in a neighbourhood, by using a multidimensional operative definition of socioeconomic vulnerability. Material and Methods: A transversal survey was implemented in Casablanca neighborhood (Zaragoza, Spain). 1032 people were selected by stratified random sampling. Information about demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, health perceived status and health care visits was obtained using a personal survey. Formal educational level, employment status and income level were integrated in unique classification criteria (socioeconomic vulnerability). Health care visits and user profile were described. Socioeconomic determinants of use and frequentation of health care services were studied by regression methods, controlled by three independent measures of socioeconomic vulnerability and by a single integrative indicator. Results: 30% Casablanca neighbors used health care resources during the two weeks previous to the interview. The user profile was: women, older than 60 years, with low self-rated health and diagnosed illnesses. Vulnerable people used medical resources with higher frequency than non-vulnerable people did, and a higher association was found in men. Statistically significant differences could be observed among the three socioeconomic independent measures, and the integrative unique vulnerability measure. For men, low formal educational level and unemployment predicted health care visit. However, socioeconomic vulnerability does not imply greater demand for health care. Conclusions: Although vulnerable people used with higher frequency the sanitary services than the non-vulnerable, unemployment and low income was correlated with a low frequency of visits, mainly in women and middle aged.

Keywords : socioeconomic vulnerability; health care visits; communitarian health; neighbourhood; health surveys.

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