Variability in Use of Health Services and Its Association with Self-Management Skills: A Population-Based Exploratory Analysis

Sanjoti Parekh*, Elizabeth Kendall, Carolyn Ehrlich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Self-management skills are helpful in making appropriate health-related decisions; however, improvements in self-management skills do not always translate into changes in health services utilization. Therefore, to assess associations between self-management skills and health services use, a randomly selected sample of 984 residents was drawn from South East Queensland, Australia. This cross-sectional study collected self-reported data on respondents' use of health services, health-related behaviors, demographics, and 3 self-management skills: self-monitoring, health services navigation, and social mobilization. The results indicate that the ability to navigate the health system was associated with greater use of health services while the ability to mobilize one's social supports was associated with reduced use of allied health services. Being able to navigate the health system appeared to be driven by necessity, in that those with higher navigation skills were unemployed, financially stressed, or had a chronic condition. This pattern of results confirms the socioeconomic gradient that exists in health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalPopulation Health Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


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