Kislitsina O. A., Chubarova T. V. Factors influencing Russians’ applications for medical assistance: gender aspect, p. 94-108

Seeking medical care is one of the indicators of ensuring the health of the Russian population, which is considered an important element of human potential. The purpose of the study was to use a gender approach on a large set of data representative at the national level to assess the use of medical care in Russia and to highlight the demographic, socio-economic and behavioral factors that affect it in a gender context. The data of the Russian Monitoring of Economic Situation and Health (RLMS, round 2021) were used as the information basis for the study; statistical analysis was carried out using multivariate logistic regression models of the SPSS package separately for men and women. As a result significant gender differences in seeking medical care have been established. In general, a fifth of Russians (21,7 %) visit a doctor less than once a year. This indicator amounts to 29,2 % for men and 16,2 % for women. Both gender-specific and gender-neutral factors were identified. Among men, those who are single, live in rural areas, and have less than higher education are more likely not to seek medical help. Among women, age is important as young women aged 30—39 tend to seek medical help less. However, at the same time employment status increases women’s access to health services. The study finds out that among both men and women, citizens who are not satisfied with their financial situation, smokers and those who have good health are more likely not to seek medical assistance. Trust in other people and the existence of a voluntary health insurance contract increase the likelihood of applying for health care services. The demographic, socio-economic, and behavioral determinants that influence seeking health care identified in the study suggest the need to introduce programs targeting specific population groups (e.g., single, low-educated, low-income, rural men or unemployed, young women) to ensure that people are seeking health care services, and thereby reduce the likelihood of adverse health consequences of not doing so. Effective measures are needed to minimize economic barriers of access to health services, such as reducing out-of-pocket spending; removing transport barriers and improving health infrastructure in rural areas; promoting educational programs aimed at involving the patient in controlling their own health and adopting healthy lifestyle; building trust and partnerships between patients and healthcare professionals.
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