|Abstract: ||The purpose of this research is to investigate the utilization of health examination and its related factors for the elderly over 60 in Taiwan and to make policy suggestions for health promotion.
The source of data used in this study was based on the database of the long-term follow-up and investigation surveys on health and living status of the elderly in Taiwan published by Bureau of Health Promotion, Department of Health in 1999. Totally 3244 samples over 60 were selected and replaced respondents were excluded. Response rate was 90.3%. The logistic regression model was adopted to analyze the related factors of use of health examination, including the demographic variables and social and economic status, morbidity of chronic diseases and conditions, and social support.
The results have found that:
(1) The rate of health examination use for the elderly over 60 in Taiwan was 52.2%.
(2) Factors like age, gender, educational background, marital status, ethnicity, annual income and residence district correlate with health examination behavior of the elderly.
(3) Nine types of diseases old people used to contract, including hypertension, cataract, gastric ulcer or stomach illness, heart disease, lung diseases like pneumonia or asthma, renal diseases, gout, stroke, cancer or malignant tumors and the number of diseases old people are suffering currently correlate to health examination behavior of the elderly.
(4) Whether the cohabitant has a degree over college or not and if the cohabitant can be relied on when old people get sick are correlated to health examination behavior of the elderly.
(5) The logistic regression analysis indicates that old people with higher education, ethnicity of mainlander, higher income, used to contract the aforesaid four diseases and have reliable family are more likely to have a health examination.
Based on the results of the study, suggestions are presented as follows:
(1) Some of the old people who did not think to take a health examination. It is suggested that involved organizations ought to explore the real reasons of their averseness by conducting more investigations to make these services well.
(2) For old people with better health conditions, it is advised that educational promotion can be reinforced via media, advertisements, medical personnel and interpersonal interactions. Convenience of receiving a health examination may be increased by providing more checkup ways. A good interactive relationship can be established with the old people through practice of family doctors.
(3) The target of health promotion should not only be aimed at the old people; instead, their families, cohabitants or caregivers need to be included. For senile citizens without social support or good interactions with their families, more social support should be offered externally like volunteer workers, social workers. Accordingly, the recognition and emphasis on health examinations of family members will be enhanced and the willingness of receiving a health examination can be increased for the elderly.