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Original Articles
The COVID-19 pandemic and healthcare utilization in Iran: evidence from an interrupted time series analysis
Monireh Mahmoodpour-Azari, Satar Rezaei, Nasim Badiee, Mohammad Hajizadeh, Ali Mohammadi, Ali Kazemi-Karyani, Shahin Soltani, Mehdi Khezeli
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(3):180-187.   Published online June 22, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0041
  • 1,616 View
  • 76 Download
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study aimed to examine the effect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak on the hospitalization rate, emergency department (ED) visits, and outpatient clinic visits in western Iran.
Methods
We collected data on the monthly hospitalization rate, rate of patients referred to the ED, and rate of patients referred to outpatient clinics for a period of 40 months (23 months before and 17 months after the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran) from all 7 public hospitals in the city of Kermanshah. An interrupted time series analysis was conducted to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the outcome variables in this study.
Results
A statistically significant decrease of 38.11 hospitalizations per 10,000 population (95% confidence interval [CI], 24.93–51.29) was observed in the first month of the COVID-19 outbreak. The corresponding reductions in ED visits and outpatient visits per 10,000 population were 191.65 (95% CI, 166.63–216.66) and 168.57 (95% CI, 126.41–210.73), respectively. After the initial reduction, significant monthly increases in the hospitalization rate (an increase of 1.81 per 10,000 population), ED visits (an increase of 2.16 per 10,000 population), and outpatient clinic visits (an increase of 5.77 per 10,000 population) were observed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conclusion
Our study showed that the utilization of outpatient and inpatient services in hospitals and clinics significantly declined after the COVID-19 outbreak, and use of these services did not return to pre-outbreak levels as of June 2021.
Factors associated with health services utilization between the years 2010 and 2012 in Korea: using Andersen's Behavioral model
Han-Kyoul Kim, Munjae Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2016;7(1):18-25.   Published online February 28, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.11.007
  • 3,536 View
  • 34 Download
  • 71 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study aimed to examine the factors associated with health services utilization using Andersen's behavioral model.
Methods
We collected Korea Health Panel data between the years 2010 and 2012 from the consortium of the National Health Insurance Service and the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, and analyzed the data to determine the outpatients and inpatients of health services utilization.
Results
Health services utilization was more significantly explained by predisposing and need factors than enabling factors. The outpatients were examined more specifically; sex, age, and marital status as predisposing factors, and chronic illness as a need factor were the variables that had significant effects on health-services-utilization experience. The inpatients were examined more specifically: sex, age, and marital status in predisposing factors; education level, economic activities, and insurance type in enabling factors; and chronic illness and disability status in need factors were the significant variables having greater effects on health-services-utilization experience.
Conclusion
This study suggests the practical implications for providing health services for outpatients and inpatients. Moreover, verifying the general characteristics of outpatients and inpatients by focusing on their health services utilization provides the baseline data for establishing health service policies and programs with regard to the recently increasing interest in health services.

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A Study on the Characteristics of Infrequent and Frequent Outpatients Visiting Korean Traditional Medical Facilities
Jinwon Yoon, Haemo Park, Chaeshin Chu, Sung-Yong Choi, Kibum Lee, Sundong Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(3):170-183.   Published online June 30, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.06.001
  • 2,727 View
  • 19 Download
  • 4 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study was intended to analyze the characteristics of infrequent and frequent outpatients visiting Korean medical facilities, and find the related variables of frequent users.
Methods
The data source was the Report on the Usage and Consumption of Korean Medicine (2011) published by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs. We analyzed outpatient data using SAS 9.2.
Results
As much as 46.6% of the patients used Korean medical services over 11 times in 3 months. The proportion of frequent users increased depending on age, and their proportion was high in the low-income and low-education group. People with musculoskeletal disease, stroke, hypertension, and obesity were more likely to use Korean medical services. In general, patients were satisfied with their treatment, with frequent outpatients being more satisfied than infrequent outpatients. In logistic regression analysis, age and musculoskeletal disease were significant determinants of frequency of use of Korean medical services.
Conclusion
Age, musculoskeletal disease, and specific diseases were highly associated with frequent Korean medical utilization.

Citations

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PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives