Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Primary Health Care Utilisation among Adults with Internalising Disorders: An Analysis of the New Zealand Health Survey

Helen Lockett , Jennifer Lai , Charito Tuason , Angela Jury , David Fergusson


Purpose: To use data from the New Zealand Health Survey (NZHS) to examine the associations between internalising disorders (including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder) and measures related to the utilisation of primary health services. Methods: The study was based on responses from 13,719 adults who took part in the 2015/16 NZHS. Logistic regression analyses adjusted for sociodemographic variables were undertaken to examine the impact of having an internalising disorder on each measure related to primary health care utilisation. The strength of associations was indicated by odds ratios (ORs). Results: Adults with an internalising disorder were more likely to utilise primary health services (OR= 1.43-2.56, p<.001) compared to adults without an internalising disorder. However, they were more likely to have unmet needs due to cost or transport (OR= 2.45-3.38, p<.001), unfilled prescriptions due to cost (OR= 3.03, p<.001), and less likely to report positive experiences with general practitioners (OR= 0.67-0.79, p<.01). Conclusion: Adults with internalising disorders require a higher level of support from primary health care, yet experience more barriers to accessing these services, and report less positive experiences with general practitioners. The NZHS may be a useful source of routinely collected data for understanding, monitoring and improving primary health service utilisation among people with internalising disorders.

HC17077  Accepted 21 November 2017

© CSIRO 2017