Help seeking and barriers to utilisation of medical and health social work services among ageing immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union

Varda Soskolne, Gail K. Auslander, Ilana Ben-Shahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study aimed to examine utilisation of medical and health social work services among ageing recent and long-term immigrants, to identify barriers to service utilisation, and to examine factors related to utilisation. Participants (n= 402) recruited from a random community sample of immigrants from the former Soviet Union in Israel, aged 55 and over, residing in urban areas throughout the country were interviewed by telephone. Using an expanded framework of Andersen's behavioural model, the independent variables included predisposing, enabling and need variables, and additional variables - barriers to utilisation or difficulties encountered during utilisation of services. For multivariate analyses of the dependent variables, a linear multiple regression model was employed for utilisation of medical services and a logistic regression model for utilisation of social work services. The main findings show that utilisation rates were high for medical services, but low for social work services. Recent immigrants had similar utilisation rates of medical services but utilised more social work services than long-term immigrants. There were few barriers but numerous difficulties in utilisation of medical services, while there were barriers but negligible difficulties in utilisation of social work services. Predisposing and need variables explained utilisation of medical services, whereas a combination of predisposing, enabling and need variables explained utilisation of social work services. The findings suggest that different factors are associated with the use of non-discretionary versus discretionary (social work) services. There is a need to reduce difficulties in utilisation of medical services and to enhance awareness about health social work services among the immigrants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-84
Number of pages11
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2006

Keywords

  • Andersen's behavioural model
  • Health social work
  • Israel
  • Service utilisation

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