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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 2017-2027; doi:10.3390/ijerph10052017

Investigating Unmet Health Needs in Primary Health Care Services in a Representative Sample of the Greek Population

1
Faculty of Social Sciences, Hellenic Open University, Riga Fereou 169 & Tsamadou, Patras 26222, Greece
2
ATTIKON" University Hospital, 1 Rimini Street, Athens 12462, Greece
3
Centre for Health Services Research, Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Medical School, Athens University, 25 Alexandroupoleos Street, Athens 11527, Greece
This paper is an extended version of a work presented at the European Conference on Health Economics (ECHE 2012), Zürich, Switzerland, 18–21 July 2012.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 April 2013 / Revised: 8 May 2013 / Accepted: 13 May 2013 / Published: 17 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)

Abstract

Unmet health care needs are determined as the difference between the services judged necessary and the services actually received, and stem from barriers related to accessibility, availability and acceptability. This study aims to examine the prevalence of unmet needs and to identify the socioeconomic and health status factors that are associated with unmet needs. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Greece in 2010 and involved data from 1,000 consenting subjects (>18 years old). Multiple binary logistic regression analysis was applied to investigate the predictors of unmet needs and to determine the relation between the socio-demographic characteristics and the accessibility, availability and acceptability barriers. Ninety nine participants (9.9%) reported unmet health needs during the 12 months prior to the research. The most frequently self-reported reasons were cost and lack of time. Youth, parenthood, physician consultations, and poor mental health increased the likelihood of unmet needs. Women were less likely to report accessibility and availability than acceptability barriers. Educational differences were evident and individuals with primary and secondary education were associated with significantly more accessibility and availability barriers compared with those with tertiary education. Unmet health needs pose a significant challenge to the health care system, especially given the difficult current financial situation in Greece. It is believed that unmet health needs will continue to increase, which will widen inequalities in health and health care access.
Keywords: unmet needs; health care system; equity; Greece unmet needs; health care system; equity; Greece
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pappa, E.; Kontodimopoulos, N.; Papadopoulos, A.; Tountas, Y.; Niakas, D. Investigating Unmet Health Needs in Primary Health Care Services in a Representative Sample of the Greek Population. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 2017-2027.

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