The Prevalence of Chronic Physical and Mental Health Conditions in Older Adults Across South Australia and Their Independent Effects on General Practitioner Visits

Dennis Asante, McLachlan Craig, Vivian Isaac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rural older adults (≥60), compared to their urban counterparts, are identified as higher users of general practitioner (GP) services. However, whether this pattern of health seeking is influenced more so by physical or mental conditions is unclear. We explore the independent effect of chronic physical and mental health conditions on GP use in Australia. Datasets on population health was available from the South Australia’s Department of health in 2013–2017 (n = 20,522). We examined prevalence of common physical and mental conditions and GP use by the Modified Monash Model of remoteness. Physical and mental health burden was similar across South Australia. General practitioner visits with suicidal ideation for rural and remote locations were 4.7 (95% CI, 1.6–13.6) and 4.8 (95% CI, 1.9–11.7), respectively, compared to urban Adelaide 1.5 (95% CI, 1.0–2.3). While there is equal burden of mental health across South Australia, access to mental health resources for nonurban Australians remains a significant challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalJOURNAL OF APPLIED GERONTOLOGY
Early online date12 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • General practitioner
  • Health services
  • Rural health
  • Older adults
  • Health status
  • general practitioner
  • health status
  • health services
  • older adults
  • rural health

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