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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1985;18(1): 25-40.
Morbidity Patterns and Health Care Behavior of Residents in Urban Low Income Area.
Kuck Hyeun Woo
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National National University, Taegu, Korea.
This study was conducted to assess the morbidity and medical facilities utilization patterns of the residents in urban low income area. Study population included 2,002 family members of 468 households in the low income area(LA) of Nam-san 4 Dong, JungGu of Taegu city and 1,709 family members of 374 households in surrounding neighbourhood control area(CA). Well trained nursing school students interviewed mainly with housewives according to the pretested questionnaire between July 1 and July 30, 1984. Age-sex distribution of the study population in LA was similar to that in CA. The average monthly income of a household in LA was 236,000 won and 356,000 won in CA. Educational level of the residents in LA was lower than that in CA; average years of school education of the 20 years old or above in LA was 6.9 years compared with 8.5 years in CA. The average family members per room in LA was 2.6 and 2.2 in CA, and proportion of Medicaid program beneficiary was 29.4% in LA and 1.9% in CA. Prevalence rate of illness during 15-day period was 131 per 1,000 population in LA and 71 in CA(p<0.01) and that of the chronic illness for 1 year was 134 per 1,000 population in LA and 89 in CA (p<0.01). The most common illness experienced during 15 days was respiratory disease(24.0% in LA and 29.8% in CA) and followed by gastro-intestinal disorders(21.0% in LA, 20.6% in CA). Injury or poisoning was 10.3% in LA and 3.3% in CA. Gastro-intestinal disorder was the most common chronic illness in both LA (22.7%) and CA (21.7%), and followed by musculoskeletal disease in LA and neuralgia in CA. Mean activity restricted days among the persons with illness during 15-day period was 4.0 days in LA and 2.2 days in CA. Among persons with illness during 15 days, 17.9% in LA and 11.6% in CA did not seek any medical treatment and the most frequently utilized medical facility was pharmacy in LA (35.5%) and local clinic or hospital OPD in CA (42.1%). Among persons with chronic illness, 15.2% in LA and 9.2% in CA did not seek for medical treatment, and residents in LA as well as residents in CA utilized local clinic or hospital OPD more frequently than pharmacy or drugstores, especially those who have medical insurance. The most common reason for not treating illness experienced during 15-day period and chronic illness was economical constraint in both LA and CA. The higher prevalence rate of illness during 15-day period and chronic illness in LA than that in CA seems to be highly correlated with their lower economic status and educational level and crowded living condition. The utilization pattern of medical facilities was associated with the medical security status. A program to improve the economic status and living condition should be integrated with the health program to promote the health of the population in low income area.
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