Older adults with memory problems (especially those diagnosed with dementia) consume a great number of health services. However, little is known about the special needs of memory-impaired, noninstitutionalized older adults who seek treatment from primary care physicians (PCPs) for memory problems. The study outlined in this chapter investigated the interrelationships among level of education, residence, physical and mental status, and the use of PCPs for memory problems. A probability-based (random-digit dialing) survey of households with individuals more than 60 years of age occurred in six Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee (N = 1,368). We developed two multivariate logistic regression models. The first estimated the additive effects of sociodemographic and health status characteristics on the likelihood of service utilization. The second model inserted two multiplicative terms: the “instrumental activities of daily living (IADL)” by “memory impairment” and the “low education” by “memory impairment” interaction terms. Three main findings emerged from the analyses: (1) rural/urban differences in use of PCPs approached statistical significance, (2) for lower educated older adults, the odds of using a PCP declined steadily as their number of memory impairments increased, and (3) as older adults experienced increases in IADL limitations and memory impairments, their likelihood of service use declined. The chapter ends with a discussion on program planning, policy, and practice initiatives in light of the findings.
Chumbler, N.R., Cody, M., Beck, C.K. and Booth, B.M. (2000), "Older adults use of primary care physicians for memory-related problems", Jacobs Kronenfeld, J. (Ed.) Health Care Providers, Institutions, and Patients: Changing Patterns of Care Provision and Care Delivery (Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 31-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0275-4959(00)80037-X
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