Background: Older adults likely exhibit considerable differences in healthcare need and usage. Identifying differences in healthcare utilisation both between and within individuals over time may support future service development. Objectives: To characterise temporal changes in healthcare utilisation among a nationally representative sample of community-dwelling older adults. Methods: A latent transition analysis of the first three waves of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) (N = 6128) was conducted. Results: Three latent classes of healthcare utilisation were identified, ‘primary care only’; ‘primary care and outpatient visits’ and ‘multiple utilisation’. The classes were invariant across all three waves. Transition probabilities indicated dynamic changes over time, particularly for the ‘primary care and outpatient visits’ and ‘multiple utilisation’ statuses. Discussion: Older adults exhibit temporal changes in healthcare utilisation which may reflect changes in healthcare need and disease progression. Further research is required to identify the factors which influence movement between healthcare utilisation patterns.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) and also the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA) for providing the data to conduct this research study, accessed via the ISSDA-www.ucd.ie/issda. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
© The Author(s) 2021.
- heterogeneity; healthcare utilisation behaviour; older adults; longitudinal; latent transition analysis
- latent transition analysis
- older adults
- healthcare utilisation behaviour