Document Type : Original Article


1 SociaL Determinants of Health Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences

2 Health Services Management Research Center, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


INTRODUCTION: Health services utilization is a complex behavioral phenomenon affected by
multiple factors including availability, distance, cost and quality of health services as well as personal
attitudes, cultural beliefs, and socioeconomic characteristics. This study aimed to assess the status
of health‑care utilization among dwellers of slums in one of the Iran’s big cities.
METHODS: This was a cross‑sectional study in which 559 slums people were selected using a
random clustered sampling method. Data on health services utilization were collected using health
equity assessment and response tool questionnaire. Data analysis was performed using descriptive
statistics and logistic regression analysis through SPSS ver. 22.
RESULTS: In this study, 42.5% (238) people who required outpatient services. 21% (118) of them
were able to use them. Furthermore, among the families, who needed outpatient services during the
past month, 15% (38) were able to use the services for at least once. Regarding inpatient services,
62% (349) of people needed hospitalization, of which 31% (175) were able to be hospitalized.
Age (P = 0.2), gender (P = 0 <001), marital status (P = 0 <001), income status (P = 0.1), and
education (P = 0.21) determined utilization of outpatient services; however, inpatient services
utilization was affected by age (P = 0.03), gender (P = 0.02), marital status (P = 0 <001), and income
status (P = 0.32). The final model of multiple regression showed that, there was a relationship between
age (odds ratio [OR] =1.7, confidence interval [CI] 95% = 0.47–0.88), marital status (OR = 2.78, CI
95% = 0.64–1.2), and the use of inpatient services.
CONCLUSION: The utilization of health services in slum areas is not desirable. As it was showed
that the utilization of health services in slums people is a multifactorial event; thus, proper planning
and policy for this increasingly demand are essential.


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