|Title||Understanding how psychosocial factors relate to seeking medical care among older adults using a new model of care seeking|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||Veazie, P, Denham, A|
|Journal||Social Science & Medicine|
|Keywords||Care seeking, Decision making, Older Adults, Psychosocial factors|
RationaleResearch has identified psychosocial factors related to the use of health services among the older population; however, the specific roles by which these factors drive behavior have not been identified and empirically tested.ObjectiveThis study tested whether previously identified psychosocial factors decrease or increase the motivational potential to seek care, the motivational sensitivity to perceived access, or the motivational sensitivity to perceived need.MethodsThe 2014 U.S. Health and Retirement Study was used. Analysis was based on 2589 older noninstitutionalized respondents (age greater than 64). The dependent variable was the number of healthcare provider visits in the preceding two years. Psychosocial factors included were life satisfaction, social network indicators, optimism, pessimism, positive social support, hopelessness, loneliness, self-efficacy, health efficacy, positive affect, negative affect, and purpose in life. Covariates included age and sex. Maximum likelihood estimation of an interpretable structural model was used.ResultsResults of the study provide evidence that psychosocial variables are related to health care seeking through both motivational potential and sensitivity parameters. Some psychosocial variables are related to multiple roles. For example, pessimism is related to a lower motivational potential and is more sensitive to access at higher levels of access, whereas hopelessness is related to a higher motivational potential and more sensitive to need and access at lower levels of each.ConclusionsFindings imply psychosocial characteristics are related to health care seeking and utilization of older adults via different roles that can countervail each other, and therefore the influence of interventions can be complex. To address this, complex interventions may be required.