Predictors of health care use in Australian cancer patients

Rana, Rezwanul Hasan and Alam, Khorshed ORCID: and Gow, Jeff ORCID: and Ralph, Nicholas ORCID: (2019) Predictors of health care use in Australian cancer patients. Cancer Management and Research, 11. pp. 6941-6957.

Text (Published version)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (501kB) | Preview


Objective: The purpose of this study is to measure health care utilization in Australian cancer patients based on their demographic, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Method: A total of 13,609 participants (aged 15 and over) from 7,230 households were interviewed as part of Wave 13 of the national Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. Five hundred and seventeen participants indicated a current cancer diagnosis with 90% of those receiving active treatment at the time of interview. Independent sample t-tests, Pearson Chi-sq tests, Kruskal‒Wallis H test, binary logistic regression and a zero-inflated Poisson regression were used to examine inequality in health care use.

Results: Demographic and sociocultural factors such as advancing age, gender, low income, low education status, rurality, no private health insurance, increased psychological distress and less access to specialist care are associated with lower health care utilization among cancer patients. However, models of care such as general practitioner-led cancer care is preferable in younger individuals with cancer, while accessing specialist care is associated with lower rates of hospitalization and higher levels of psychological distress increases hospital length of stay.

Conclusions: The findings of lower health care utilization by those cancer patients with characteristics of disadvantage have implications for policy development and intervention design. Broadly, policies targeting structural social inequities are likely to increase health care utilization among the most affected/disadvantaged populations. Further investigation is needed to identify potential links between health care utilization and cancer outcomes as a step toward targeted interventions for improving outcomes in the adversely affected groups.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 36843
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version made available in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery (1 Jan 2015 - )
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery (1 Jan 2015 - )
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2019 03:15
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2022 04:44
Uncontrolled Keywords: cancer, health care utilization, primary preventive care, inequality, psychological distress, HILDA
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110399 Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1112 Oncology and Carcinogenesis > 111299 Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320299 Clinical sciences not elsewhere classified
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4299 Other health sciences > 429999 Other health sciences not elsewhere classified
38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380108 Health economics
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3211 Oncology and carcinogenesis > 321199 Oncology and carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920206 Health Inequalities
Identification Number or DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only