Korean J Fam Med 2017; 38(6): 365-371  https://doi.org/10.4082/kjfm.2017.38.6.365
Association of Occupational Class with Healthcare Utilization among Economically Active Korean Adults from 2006 to 2014: A Repeated Cross-Sectional Study of Koreans Aged 19 Years and Older
Jae-Hyun Kim1,2, Kwang Soo Lee3, Yunhwan Lee4,5, Eun-Cheol Park6,7,*
1Department of Health Administration, Dankook University College of Health Science, Cheonan, Korea
2Institute of Health Promotion and Policy, Dankook University, Cheonan, Korea
3Department of Health Administration, Yonsei University College of Health Sciences, Wonju, Korea
4Department of Preventive Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea
5Institute on Aging, Ajou University Medical Center, Suwon, Korea
6Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
7Institute of Health Services Research, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
Eun-Cheol Park Tel: +82-2-2228-1862, Fax: +82-2-392-8133, E-mail: ecpark@yuhs.ac
Received: June 7, 2016; Revised: August 3, 2016; Accepted: September 21, 2016; Published online: November 20, 2017.
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Abstract
Background: To investigate the impact of indicators of occupational class on healthcare utilization by using longitudinal data from a nationally representative survey.
Methods: Data were obtained from the Korean Welfare Panel Study conducted from 2006 (wave 1) through 2014 (wave 9). A total of 5,104 individuals were selected at baseline (2006). Analysis of variance and longitudinal data analysis were used to evaluate the following dependent variables: number of outpatient visits and number of days spent in the hospital per year.
Results: The number of annual outpatient visits was 4.298 days higher (P〈 0.0001) in class IV, 0.438 days higher (P=0.027) in class III, and 0.335 days higher (P=0.035) in class II than in class I. The number of days spent in the hospital per year was 0.610 days higher (P=0.001) in class IV, 0.547 days higher (P〈 0.0001) in class III, and 0.115 days higher (P=0.136) in class III than in class I. In addition, the number of days spent in the hospital in class IV patients with unmet healthcare needs showed an opposite trend to that predicted on the basis of socioeconomic status (estimate, -8.524; P-value=0.015).
Conclusion: Patients whose jobs involved manual or physical labor were significantly associated with higher healthcare utilization. Thus, the results suggest that healthcare utilization in different occupational classes should be improved by monitoring work environments and promoting health-enhancing behaviors.
Keywords: Social Class; Hospital; Occupations


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