Objectives Identifying whether the demand for medical services is catered to is an important issue. Given that depression is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease, it could affect the use of healthcare. This study aims to examine the association between the severity of new-onset depression and unmet healthcare needs among South Korean adults. Methods Data from 15,588 participants, derived from the 2014, 2016, and 2018 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, were examined. Only individuals who were not diagnosed with depression was included to exclude those who visited hospitals to treat depression or were experiencing unmet healthcare needs due to depression. Depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and unmet healthcare needs acted as the dependent variable. A multiple/multinomial logistic regression analysis was built to analyze the association between the variables. Results Individuals with severe depression had a higher risk of having unmet healthcare needs compared to those without (men: adjusted OR = 2.05, 95% CI = 1.40-3.00; women: adjusted OR = 2.20, 95% CI = 1.72-2.82). White-collar men with severe depression also had a higher risk of having unmet healthcare needs (adjusted OR = 9.72, 95% CI = 4.73-20.00). Individuals with severe depression had a higher risk of having unmet healthcare needs due to economic hardship than those without depression (men: adjusted OR = 3.01, 95% CI = 1.76-5.14, women: adjusted OR = 2.93, 95% CI = 1.96-4.38). Conclusions This study identified a significant relationship between the severity of new-onset depression and the risk of having unmet healthcare needs among South Korean adults. Our study suggests that having severe depression contributed to a higher risk of unmet healthcare needs. Proper care to manage depression can be promoted through future intervention programs that alleviate the risk of having unmet healthcare needs.
|Issue number||8 August|
|Publication status||Published - 2021 Aug|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank our colleagues from the Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Yonsei University, who provided valuable advice regarding this manuscript.
Copyright: © 2021 Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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