Socioeconomic Disparities Associated with Healthcare Utilization among Adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Date of Original Version
Background Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic and debilitating disease associated with negative health outcomes and high healthcare utilization. Little is known about the role of demographic and socioeconomic factors associated with healthcare utilization in RA. Objectives The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, insurance status, general health perception, and healthcare utilization among adults with RA. Methods In this cross-sectional analysis of data from 537 participants with a self-reported diagnosis of RA from the 2017-2020 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to explore the relationships between demographic and socioeconomic factors, insurance status, general health perception, and healthcare utilization (i.e., whether an individual saw a provider, had a routine place to go for healthcare, and stayed overnight in the hospital). Results The mean age of participants was 57 years; 50% were female, 57.9% were non-Hispanic White, 17.9% were Black, and 15.2% were Mexican or other Hispanic. Individuals without health insurance were less likely than insured individuals with RA to have seen a provider, have a routine place to go for healthcare, and have stayed overnight in the hospital. Adults with RA who rated their health as very good or excellent were more likely to have a routine place for healthcare and less likely to stay overnight in the hospital than those who rated their health as fair or poor. Discussion Lack of health insurance significantly correlates with decreased healthcare utilization in adults with RA in the United States. Our findings underscore the need for more frequent assessment of insurance status in adults with RA to identify individuals at an increased risk for reduced healthcare utilization and who are more likely to experience poorly perceived general health.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
Hathaway, Elizabeth C., Jungeun Lee, and Robyn K. Wojeck. "Socioeconomic Disparities Associated with Healthcare Utilization among Adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis." Nursing Research 72, 3 (2023). doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000638.