Segmentation of health-care consumers: Psychological determinants of subjective health and other person-related variables

J.G. Bloem, J. Stalpers, E.A.G. Groenland, K. van Montfort, W.F. van Raaij, K. de Rooij*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

168 Downloads (Pure)


There is an observable, growing trend toward tailoring support programs – in addition to medical treatment – more closely to individuals to help improve patients’ health status. The segmentation model developed by Bloem & Stalpers [Nyenrode Research Papers Series 12:1–22, 2012] may serve as a solid basis for such an approach. The model is focused on individuals’ ‘health experience’ and is therefore a ‘cross-disease’ model. The model is based on the main psychological determinants of subjective health: acceptance and perceived control. The model identifies four segments of health-care consumers, based on high or low values on these determinants. The goal of the present study is twofold: the identification of criteria for differentiating between segments, and profiling of the segments in terms of socio-demographic and socio-economic variables.

The data (acceptance, perceived control, socio-economic, and socio-demographic variables) for this study were obtained by using an online survey (a questionnaire design), that was given (random sample N = 2500) to a large panel of Dutch citizens. The final sample consisted of 2465 participants – age distribution and education level distribution in the sample were similar to those in the Dutch population; there was an overrepresentation of females. To analyze the data factor analyses, reliability tests, descriptive statistics and t-tests were used.

Cut-off scores, criteria to differentiate between the segments, were defined as the medians of the distributions of control and acceptance. Based on the outcomes, unique profiles have been formed for the four segments: 1. ‘Importance of self-management’ – relatively young, high social class, support programs: high-quality information. 2. ‘Importance of personal control’ – relatively old, living in rural areas, high in homeownership; supportive programs: developing personal control skills. 3. ‘Importance of acceptance’ – relatively young male; supportive programs: help by physicians and nurses. 4. ‘Importance of perspective and direction’ – female, low social class, receiving informal care; support programs: counseling and personal care.

The profiles describe four segments of individuals/patients that are clearly distinct from each other, each with its own description. The enriched descriptions provide a better basis for the allocation and developing of supportive programs and interventions across individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number726
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Segmentation of health-care consumers: Psychological determinants of subjective health and other person-related variables'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this