- This study was unique in that it focused on the rural elderly of both Black and White ethnicity's, explored differences between groups by comparing use and knowledge of health services, and controlled for gender, income, educational attainment, health status, age, and health beliefs - the independent variables of the study. Knowledge and use of health services were dependent factors.
The Anderson behavioral model (Anderson, 1995) has been extensively used to examine health service utilization. It conceptualizes health care use as the outcome of a complex pattern of interactions between predisposing, enabling, and need-for care characteristics. The literature has supported the utility of the behavioral model for assessing the health care practices of rural
older adults. Four questions were posed. These were translated into hypotheses for statistical testing purposes. Black and White elderly residents of one rural county in South Carolina comprised the target population. A sample of 150 elderly residents, 75 Black and 75 White, were randomly selected for
The multidimensional health locus of control scales were modified and used
in the test instrument to assess health beliefs (both internal and external).
Descriptive and background data were gathered from administration of the
survey. Data were analyzed using SPSS statistical software. Analysis of
variance (ANOVA) and the LSD (least significant differences) test, in addition to
regression analysis, were used to compute and identify differences between
and among groups of data.
This research concluded that there was no correlation between use of services and knowledge of facilities. There were differences in utilization by race, with Whites making greater use of health care facilities. Educational levels, health status, income, household composition, type of insurance, and age influenced health care use. It was not influenced by gender, distance from facilities, and health beliefs. There was a statistically significant difference between knowledge and race, with Blacks having higher knowledge scores. Gender, health status, income, distance from facilities, and health beliefs did not influence knowledge. However, educational attainment, type of insurance, household composition, and age did. Service use and knowledge were adequate, in contrast to findings in the literature. Recommendations for further study were formulated.