Older Adults’ Demographic Social Determinants of Paying for Health Care in Southern United States

Huey Ming Tzeng, Yu Kang, Anne Barker, Udoka Okpalauwaekwe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Cheney and Stark (2019) highlighted medical costs and expensive drugs as two major financial worries of retirees and older adults. Such an impact could be intensified for older adults as they advance in age. Aim Examine the relationship between five older adults’ demographic charac-teristics and their perceptions of five self-care actions for paying for health care. Methods In a cross-sectional study, community-dwelling adults (N=123, ≥ age 65) living in the southern United States were surveyed in 2015-2016. Data were collected with the Patient Action Inventory for Self-Care. Logistic regression analyses were conducted. Results Among the five self-care actions related to paying for health care, four actions were associated with marital status, age groups, and education levels. Marital status (single), age (75 and older), and education (without a high school diploma) were social determinants of performing self-care actions related to paying for health care. Limitations and Implications Because data were collected from community-dwelling older adults residing in the southern United States, results may not be generalizable to other regions. Future research should include a more diverse sample. Conclusion Solutions that consider social determinants of health related to paying for health care should be neighborhood-focused. Government agencies (e.g., area agencies on aging) could play a critical role in assisting older adults, especially those who did not earn a high school diploma or are age 75 or older.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalMEDSURG Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medical–Surgical


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