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Factors associated with emergency room visits and hospitalisation amongst low-income public rental flat dwellers in Singapore.

Wee, Liang En; Low, Lian Leng; Thumboo, Julian; Chan, Angelique; Lee, Kheng Hock.
BMC Public Health; 19(1): 713, 2019 Jun 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | Jun 2019 | ID: mdl-31174499
Resumo: BACKGROUND: In Singapore, a densely urbanised Asian society, more than 80% of the population stays in public housing estates and the majority (90%) own their own homes. For the needy who cannot afford home ownership, public rental flats are available. Staying in a public rental flat is associated with higher hospital readmission rates and poorer access to health services. We sought to examine sociodemographic factors associated with hospital admissions and emergency room visits amongst public rental flat residents. METHODS: We surveyed all residents aged ≥60 years in a public rental housing precinct in central Singapore in 2016. Residents self-reported their number of emergency room visits, as well as hospitalisations, in the past 6 months. We obtained information on residents' sociodemographic characteristics, medical, functional and social status via standardised questionnaires. We used chi-square to identify associations between emergency room visits/hospitalisations and sociodemographic characteristics, on univariate analysis; and logistic regression for multivariate analysis. RESULTS: Of 1324 contactable residents, 928 participated in the survey, with a response rate of 70.1%. A total of 928 residents participated in our study, of which 59.5% were male (553/928) and 51.2% (476/928) were ≥ 70 years old. Around 9% (83/928) of residents had visited the emergency room in the last 6 months; while 10.5% (100/928) had been admitted to hospital in the past 6 months. On multivariable analysis, being religious (aOR = 0.43, 95%CI = 0.24-0.76) and having seen a primary care practitioner in the last 6 months (aOR = 0.46, 95%CI = 0.27-0.80) were independently associated with lower odds of emergency room visits, whereas loneliness (aOR = 1.96, 95%CI = 1.13-3.43), poorer coping (aOR = 1.72, 95%CI = 1.01-3.03) and better adherence (aOR = 2.23, 95%CI = 1.29-3.83) were independently associated with higher odds of emergency room visits. For hospitalisations, similarly poorer coping (aOR = 1.85, 95%CI = 1.12-3.07), better adherence (aOR = 1.69, 95%CI = 1.04-2.75) and poorer functional status (aOR = 1.85, 95%CI = 1.15-2.98) were all independently associated with higher odds of hospitalisations, whereas those who were religious (aOR = 0.62, 95%CI = 0.37-0.99) and those who were currently employed (aOR = 0.46, 95%CI = 0.37-0.99) had lower odds of being hospitalised. CONCLUSION: In this public rental flat population, functional status, coping and adherence, and having a religion were independently associated with emergency room visits and hospitalisation. Residents who had seen a primary care practitioner in the last 6 months had lower odds of visiting the emergency room.