Why does healthcare utilisation differ between socioeconomic groups in OECD countries with universal healthcare coverage? A protocol for a systematic review

Iris Meulman*, Ellen Uiters, Johan Polder, Niek Stadhouders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Introduction:
Even in advanced economies with universal healthcare coverage (UHC), a social gradient in healthcare utilisation has been reported. Many individual, community and healthcare system factors have been considered that may be associated with the variation in healthcare utilisation between socioeconomic groups. Nevertheless, relatively little is known about the complex interaction and relative contribution of these factors to socioeconomic differences in healthcare utilisation. In order to improve understanding of why utilisation patterns differ by socioeconomic status (SES), the proposed systematic review will explore the main mechanisms that have been examined in quantitative research.

Methods and analysis:
The systematic review will follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses guidelines and will be conducted in Embase, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Econlit and PsycInfo. Articles examining factors associated with the differences in primary and specialised healthcare utilisation between socioeconomic groups in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries with UHC will be included. Further restrictions concern specifications of outcome measures, factors of interest, study design, population, language and type of publication. Data will be numerically summarised, narratively synthesised and thematically discussed. The factors will be categorised according to existing frameworks for barriers to healthcare access.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere054806
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ Open
Volume11
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • EUROPE
  • INCOME
  • RISK
  • SERVICES
  • health economics
  • public health
  • social medicine

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