<p>Background: Differences in health care utilization by educational level can contribute to inequalities in health. Understanding health care utilization and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of educational groups may provide important insights into the presence of these inequalities. Therefore, we assessed characteristics, health care utilization and HRQoL of injury patients by educational level. Method: Data for this registry based cohort study were extracted from the Dutch Injury Surveillance System. At 6-month follow-up, a stratified sample of patients (≥25 years) with an unintentional injury reported their health care utilization since discharge and completed the EQ-5-Dimension, 5-Level (EQ-5D-5L) and visual analogue scale (EQ VAS). Logistic regression analyses, adjusting for patient and injury characteristics, were performed to investigate the association between educational level and health care utilization. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse HRQoL scores by educational level, for hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients. Results: This study included 2606 patients; 47.9% had a low, 24.4% a middle level, and 27.7% a high level of education. Patients with low education were more often female, were older, had more comorbidities, and lived more often alone compared to patients with high education (p &lt; 0.001). Patients with high education were more likely to visit a general practitioner (OR: 1.38; CI: 1.11–1.72) but less likely to be hospitalized (OR: 0.79; CI: 0.63–1.00) and to have nursing care at home (OR: 0.66; CI: 0.49–0.90) compared to their low educated counterparts. For both hospitalized an non-hospitalized persons, those with low educational level reported lower HRQoL and more problems on all dimensions than those with a higher educational level. Conclusion: Post-discharge, level of education was associated with visiting the general practitioner and nursing care at home, but not significantly with use of other health care services in the 6 months post-injury. Additionally, patients with a low educational level had a poorer HRQoL. However, other factors including age and sex may also explain a part of these differences between educational groups. It is important that patients are aware of potential consequences of their trauma and when and why they should consult a specific health care service after ED or hospital discharge.</p>

doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-06913-3, hdl.handle.net/1765/136562
BMC Health Services Research
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Marjolein van der Vlegel, I. (Inge) Spronk, J (Joost) Oude Groeniger, Hidde Toet, M.J.M. (Martien) Panneman, S. (Suzanne) Polinder, & J.A. (Juanita) Haagsma. (2021). Health care utilization and health-related quality of life of injury patients. BMC Health Services Research, 21(1). doi:10.1186/s12913-021-06913-3