An Evaluation of the Relationship between Self-Reported Delays in Seeking Medical Care and Gender
Delay in seeking medical care has been a growing problem across the nation. People delay medical services that are required for their health every day. Delay in care is attributed to diagnosis of chronic conditions that cost millions of dollars to treat each year in the United States. The purpose of this study was to determine a relationship between delay in seeking medical care, gender, health care cost, and health insurance status. The study was conducted using the 2016 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), which is a cross-sectional study that interviews California residents and evaluates a variety of heath topics. Subjects were drawn using a random sample of all adults ages 18-80 years of age who were non-institutionalized. The 2,072 participants in the study, males (n= 915) and females (n=1,157) all came from different ethnic backgrounds. A Chi-Square Test of Independence was conducted to analyze the relationship between delay in seeking care, gender, health care cost, and health insurance status. The results indicated no significant relationship between gender and delay in seeking care with only a 3% difference between males and females; 10% of males compared to 13% females reported delays in care in the last 12 months (P > 0.05). A Chi-Square Test of Independence was also conducted to test the relationship between delay in seeking care and health care cost and health insurance status. A smaller sample (n = 224) participants was drawn to only include the subset of the sample eligible: individuals who answered yes or no to delaying care in seeking care. Results indicated no significant relationship between gender and healthcare costs and health insurance status; 39.3% of males stated there was a delay in care due to health care costs, compared to 38.3% females (P > 0.05). Gender, health care cost, and health insurance status were not identified as factors that cause people to delay care. Future studies should evaluate other socioeconomic or social determinant factors.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Public Health
Public Health, Health Care