OBJECTIVES. This article provides an inquiry into use of health services by the elderly. METHODS. The authors operationalize models of use with a survey of 350 elderly Chinese. Because the survey involves native Chinese, the empirical test can isolate functional social support as well as "structural" social supports (marriage, living with children). RESULTS. The principal findings comport with prior work: the strongest determinants of the use of health services by the elderly are those that relate to need. In addition, structural social support impacts use but demonstrates complex patterns. CONCLUSIONS. The availability of family support increases physician visits while diminishing the probability of a hospital stay. Increased Western physician use ties to increased use of Chinese physicians and increased hospitalization. Functional social support plays a role as well. Finally, income effects did not play a large role in determining the use of health services among this population.
- Elderly health service use
- Filial piety
- Social supports
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health