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Open Access Research article

Which need characteristics influence healthcare service utilization in home care arrangements in Germany?

Lena Dorin12*, Suzi C Turner3, Lea Beckmann12, Jörg große Schlarmann12, Andreas Faatz4, Sabine Metzing12 and Andreas Büscher25

Author Affiliations

1 Graduate School Family Health in the Lifecourse, Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, Caprivistraße 30a, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany

2 Department of Nursing Science, Witten/Herdecke University, Stockumer Str. 10, 58453 Witten, Germany

3 Master of Public Health in Epidemiology Student, Georgia Southern University, 1332 Southern Dr, Statesboro, GA 30460, USA

4 Quantitative Methods, Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, Caprivistraße 30a, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany

5 Nursing Science, Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences, German Network for Quality Development in Nursing (DNQP), University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, Caprivistraße 30a, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany

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BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:233  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-233

Published: 22 May 2014

Abstract

Background

We see a growing number of older adults receiving long-term care in industrialized countries. The Healthcare Utilization Model by Andersen suggests that individual need characteristics influence utilization. The purpose of this study is to analyze correlations between need characteristics and service utilization in home care arrangements.

Methods

1,152 respondents answered the questionnaire regarding their integration of services in their current and future care arrangements. Care recipients with high long-term care needs answered the questionnaire on their own, the family caregiver assisted the care recipient in answering the questions, or the family caregiver responded to the questionnaire on behalf of the care recipient. They were asked to rank specific needs according to their situation. We used descriptive statistics and regression analysis.

Results

Respondents are widely informed about services. Nursing services and counseling are the most used services. Short-term care and guidance and training have a high potential for future use. Day care, self-help groups, and mobile services were the most frequently rejected services in our survey. Women use more services than men and with rising age utilization increases. Long waiting times and bad health of the primary caregiver increases the chance of integrating services into the home care arrangements.

Conclusion

The primary family caregiver has a high impact on service utilization. This indicates that the whole family should be approached when offering services. Professionals should react upon the specific needs of care dependents and their families.

Keywords:
Service utilization; Long-term care; Home care arrangements; Needs; Elderly; Family caregivers; Family caregiving; Long-term care services