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The New Zealand Medical Journal

 Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 13-May-2011, Vol 124 No 1334

[full text] [PDF]

Unmet need of GP services in Pacific people and other New Zealanders
Megan J Pledger, Jacqueline Cumming, Mili Burnette, Jacob Daubé

Abstract


Aim
To compare the unmet need of GP services for Pacific peoples (mostly of Samoan, Tongan, Niuean, or Cook Islands origin) and Other New Zealanders (predominantly European New Zealanders, Māori, and Asian New Zealanders).

Methods
The New Zealand Health Survey 2006/2007 sampled 12,488 people, aged 15+ years, living in private dwellings in New Zealand. Of these 1033 were Pacific peoples and 11,455 were Other New Zealanders. Self-reported unmet GP need in the previous 12 months was modelled using logistic regression with sociodemographic, health status and risk variables as covariates.

Results
Age, sex, educational level, New Zealand individual Deprivation Index, self-rated health, spinal disorders and daily smoking were associated with unmet GP need. Ethnicity has two interactions in the model, one with asthma and the other with body mass index (BMI). The difference in unmet need between Pacific peoples and Other New Zealanders was explained in part by Pacific peoples being more likely to be in categories with more deprivation characteristics but countered by Other New Zealanders having a higher probability of having higher educational qualifications where there was also higher unmet need. Those with unmet GP need in the higher educational levels were more likely to say “they couldn’t spare the time”.

Conclusion
Unmet GP need is associated with ethnicity, health need and financial and time constraints.

     
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