Depressive symptomatology as a risk factor for increased health service utilization among elderly patients in primary care Academic Article uri icon


  • Depression may play an important role in determining frequent physician visits in the older population. Our aim is to examine the relationships between socio-demographic variables, co-morbidity, memory complaints, functional status, depressive symptomatology, and health care utilization among community dwelling older patients. The study was conducted in urban primary health care clinics in Beer-Sheva, Israel. Two groups were identified: low care utilizers (LCU), with ≤6 visits to family physicians (FP)/year and high care utilizers (HCU) with ≥16 visits to FP/year. Data were collected during a structured face-to-face individual interview. The study population included 180 patients, of them 86 (47.7%) were LCU and 94 (52.2%) were HCU. In all clinical measurements the HCU group indicators were statistically significant worse off than the LCU group: average depressive symptoms (5.6 vs. 2.5, p p p p p

publication date

  • January 1, 2012