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To seek care or not to seek care: Utilization of health services by older adults in Ghana

Paul K. Ayernor, Pennsylvania State University and University of Ghana

The present study examines the determinants which influence the health seeking behavior of older adults in Ghana. The data use for the study comes from a nationally representative survey of the 2003 Ghana Core Welfare Indicators II (CWIQ II). The sample size includes 5289 respondents aged 60 years and over who were sick in the last four weeks preceding the survey. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to determine health care utilization by the older adults and sources of health care. The study findings suggest that substantial numbers of older adults (17%) may be experiencing unmet need for health care utilization because of their inability to utilize health care services. Use of non-conventional biomedicine sources of care such as traditional healers may have implications for self-medication and disease complications among older adults. Key words: Older adults, health services, health seeking behavior, Ghana

Presented in Poster Session 4