Predictors of medical and mental health care use in patients with irritable bowel syndrome in the United States
Because health care demand among IBS patients imposes a heavy economic burden, identifying high utilizers has potential for improving quality and efficiency of care. Previous research has not identified reliable predictors of utilization of IBS patients. We sought to identify factors predictive of health care utilization among severe IBS patients. 291 IBS patients completed testing whose content mapped onto the Andersen model of health care utilization. 2-stage hurdle models were used to determine predictors of health care use (probability and frequency). Separate analyses were conducted for mental health and medical services. Whether patients used any medical care was predicted by diet and insurance status. Tobacco use, education, and health insurance predicted the probability of using mental health care. The frequency of medical care was associated with alcohol use and physical health status, while frequency of mental health services was associated with marital status, tobacco use, education, distress, stress, and control beliefs over IBS symptoms. For IBS patients, the demand for health care involves a complex decision-making process influenced by many factors. Particularly strong determinants include predisposing characteristics (e.g., dietary pattern, tobacco use) and enabling factors (e.g., insurance coverage) that impede or facilitate demand. Which factors impact use depends on whether the focus is on the decision to use care or how much care is used. Decisions to use medical and mental health care are not simply influenced by symptom-specific factors but by a variety of lifestyle (e.g., dietary pattern, education, smoking) and economic (e.g., insurance coverage) factors. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.