Medical care needs for patients receiving home healthcare in Taiwan: Do gender and income matter?

Fang Yi Huang, Chung Han Ho, Jung Yu Liao, Chao A. Hsiung, Sang Ju Yu, Kai Ping Zhang, Ping Jen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies about medical care needs for home healthcare (HHC) previously focused on disease patterns but not gender and income differences. We used the Taiwan National Health Research Insurance Database from 1997 to 2013 to examine trends in medical care needs for patients who received HHC, and the gender and income gaps in medical care needs, which were represented by resource utilization groups (RUG). We aimed to clarify three questions: 1. Are women at a higher level of medical care needs for HHC than men, 2. Does income relate to medical care needs? 3. Is the interaction term (gender and income) related to the likelihood of medical care needs? Results showed that the highest level of medical care need in HHC was reducing whereas the basic levels of medical care need for HHC are climbing over time in Taiwan during 1998 and 2013. The percentages of women with income-dependent status in RUG1 to RUG4 are 26.43%, 26.24%, 30.68%, and 32.07%, respectively. Women were more likely to have higher medical care needs than men (RUG 3: odds ratio, OR = 1.17, 95% confidence interval, CI = 1.10-1.25; RUG4: OR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.06-1.22) in multivariates regression test. Compared to the patients with the highincome status, patients with the income-dependent status were more likely to receive RUG3 (OR = 2.34, 95% CI = 1.77-3.09) and RUG4 (OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.44-2.71). The results are consistent with the perspectives of fundamental causes of disease and feminization of poverty theory, implying gender and income inequalities in medical care needs. Policymakers should increase public spending for delivering home-based integrated care resources, especially for women with lower income, to reduce the double burden of female poverty at the higher levels of medical care needs for HHC.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0247622
JournalPloS one
Volume16
Issue number2 February
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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