Having a usual source of care and its associated factors in Korean adults: a cross-sectional study of the 2012 Korea Health Panel Survey.

BMC Family Practice

PubMedID: 27899071

An AR, Kim K, Lee JH, Sung NJ, Lee SI, Hyun MK. Having a usual source of care and its associated factors in Korean adults: a cross-sectional study of the 2012 Korea Health Panel Survey. BMC Fam Pract. 2016;17(1):167.
BACKGROUND
Usual source of care (USC) is one of the hallmarks of primary care. We aimed to examine the status of having a USC and its patient-related sociodemographic factors among Korean adults.

METHODS
Data were obtained from the 2012 Korea Health Panel survey. Panel participants were selected for the study who were aged 18 years or older and who replied to questionnaire items on having a USC (n?=?11,935).

RESULTS
Of the participants, 21.5% had a usual place and 13.9% had a usual physician. Reasons for not having a USC were seldom being ill (66.1%), the preference to visit multiple medical institutions (27.9%), and others. The private community clinic was the most common type of usual place (57.0%). In patient-reported attributes of care provided by a usual physician, the percentages of positive responses for comprehensiveness and coordination were 67.2% and 34.5%, respectively. By institution type, primary care clinics showed the lowest percentage (32.8%) of positive responses for coordination. Adjusted odds ratios of having a usual physician were 3.77 (95% confidence interval, CI: 3.75-3.79) for those aged 65 years or older (vs. aged 18-34 years), 1.31 (CI: 1.30-1.31) for females (vs. males), 0.72 (CI: 0.72-0.73) for unmarried people (vs. married), 1.16 (CI: 1.16-1.16) for college graduates or higher (vs. elementary school graduate or less), 0.64 for the fifth quintile (vs. the first quintile) by household income, 1.53 (CI: 1.52-1.54) for Medical Aid (vs. employee health insurance) for type of health insurance, and 4.09 (CI: 4.08-4.10) for presence (vs. absence) of a chronic diseases.

CONCLUSIONS
The proportion of Korean adults who have a USC is extremely low, the most influential factor of having a USC is having a chronic disease or not, and Korean patients experience much poorer health care coordination than do patients in other industrialized countries. The findings of this study will give insight to researchers and policy makers regarding the potential facilitators of and barriers to promoting having a USC in the general Korean public.