Steinbeisser, K., Schwarzkopf, L., Grill, E., Schwettmann, L., Peters, A., Seidl, H.

Gender-linked determinants for utilization of long-term care in community-dwelling adults 65+ in Germany: Results from the population-based KORA-Age study

2021

Experimental Gerontology, 153, 111500. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2021.111500

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Background The number of people using long-term care (LTC) is increasing steadily, hence, demand for adequate services is rising. The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify relevant gender-linked determinants for utilization of LTC in community-dwelling older adults.

Methods We examined 4077 females (52.7%) and males ? 65 years old (range: 65–97 years) between 2011/12 (t1) and 2016 (t2). Data originated from the population-based Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA)-Age study in southern Germany. A descriptive analysis assessed the amount of LTC used. Cross-sectional generalized estimating equation logistic models identified determinants for utilization of (in)formal LTC. Determinants for transition to LTC between t1 and t2 were examined using a longitudinal logistic regression model. Potential determinants were chosen according to Andersen's Behavioral Model of Health Services Use.

Results At t2, 820 (20.1%) were LTC users with 527 (64.3%) being female. The average amount of informal LTC was higher in males, whereas the amount of formal LTC was higher in females. In both genders, higher age, multimorbidity, and disability were associated with utilization of and transition to LTC. Living alone was significantly associated with utilization of LTC in both genders, but its effect was two times stronger in males. Thus, it is considered the essential gender-linked determinant.

Conclusions Gender-linked determinants must be considered when establishing demand-oriented policies. Future health programs should specifically target older individuals, especially males, living alone to improve their capabilities in activities of daily living to allow them to remain living longer and independently within community settings.

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