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Comparison of Healthcare Utilization Between Informal Caregivers and Non-Caregivers: An Analysis of the Health Information National Trends Survey

Objective: The demands of providing unpaid care for someone with a disabling health condition (i.e., informal caregiving) can limit attention to one’s own health needs. Using a nationally representative survey, this study examines whether caregivers report different healthcare utilization relative to non-caregivers. Method: Participants in the Health Information National Trends Survey 5, Cycle 1 reported whether they provided unpaid care and healthcare utilization outcomes. Logistic regressions and chi-square tests with jackknife variance estimation were used. Results: Caregivers (N = 391) did not differ from non-caregivers (N = 2,894) in time since routine checkup or number of healthcare appointments in the past year (p values >.25). Among caregivers, number of healthcare appointments differed according to caregivers’ relationship to the care recipient (p =.04). Discussion: Findings suggest that informal caregivers access routine healthcare at a frequency similar to non-caregivers. Further research should determine whether this utilization is optimal, or whether increased utilization during caregiving might help attenuate caregivers’ longer term morbidity. 

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Journal article
Publisher
Sage
ISBN/ISSN
0898-2643
Publication Year
2020
Issue Number
5-6
Journal Titles
Journal Of Aging And Health
Volume Number
32
Start Page
453
End Page
461