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Rural-urban differences in service use for memory-related problems in older adults.

Chumbler NR, Cody M, Booth BM, Beck CK. Rural-urban differences in service use for memory-related problems in older adults. The journal of behavioral health services & research. 2001 May 1; 28(2):212-21.

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The reduced availability of providers and travel difficulties in rural areas may thwart older rural adults from getting the care they need for memory-related problems. The purpose of this study was to determine whether rural-urban differences exist in the probability of any service use of primary care physicians and mental health specialists in a full sample of older adults and in a subset of impaired respondents. In the full sample, rural respondents were 0.66 times as likely (p = .06) to have used primary care physicians for memory-related problems compared with urban respondents. In the subgroup, rural individuals were 0.26 times as likely (p = .02). In both groups, there were no rural-urban differences in the probability of mental health specialty use for memory-related problems. Further investigations are necessary to determine the causes.

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