Socioeconomic status, social capital and self-reported unmet health care needs: A population-based study

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Abstract

Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and self-reported unmet health care needs, taking economic stress, generalized trust in other people and trust in the health care system into account. Methods: The 2012 public health survey in Scania was conducted using a postal questionnaire and included 28,029 participants aged 18-80 years. The study was cross-sectional. Associations between SES and unmet health care needs were investigated, adjusting for economic stress and trust in logistic regressions. Results: SES was significantly associated with unmet health care needs. The SES categories of unemployed, on long-term sick leave and unskilled manual workers reported particularly high levels of unmet health care needs. SES differences in unmet needs were attenuated when economic stress and the two dimensions of trust and self-rated health were introduced in multiple analyses. The working population gave a lack of time as the reason for unmet health care needs, whereas those on sick leave or unemployed reported a lack of money. Conclusions: SES differences in self-reported unmet health care needs were observed and these associations were attenuated when economic stress during the past year, generalized trust in other people, trust in the health care system and self-rated health were introduced into the multiple models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-221
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Keywords

  • generalized trust in other people
  • self-rated health
  • social capital
  • socioeconomic status
  • Sweden
  • trust in the health care system
  • Unmet health care needs

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