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Use of Outpatient Healthcare Services Before and After the Onset of Unemployment: A Register-Based Propensity Score Matched Study From Finland

Julkaistu 9.8.2023



The aim was to examine the use of outpatient healthcare services in different sectors of healthcare before and after the onset of unemployment and to study whether job loss affected the use of these services.


Longitudinal individual-level register-based data was utilized on all individuals living in the City of Oulu, Finland, who became unemployed in 2017 (N = 1,999), their propensity matched controls (N = 1,999), and unmatched controls (N = 58,459) in a quasi-experimental design. Use of outpatient healthcare services was examined in one-month periods from 12 months before to 12 months after the onset of unemployment. Several socio-demographic factors, along with sickness and employment histories, were used for matching. Difference-in-differences analysis was used to measure the differences in the use of outpatient healthcare services between the unemployed and their matched controls.


The use of health services decreased significantly after the onset of unemployment. This was due to a decrease in the use of occupational health services. No change related to job loss was observed in the use of public or private healthcare services. The number of healthcare visits increased again after the unemployment ended. Difference-in-differences analyses showed that compared to propensity score matched controls, becoming unemployed reduced the use of health services.


When access to occupational healthcare services ceases, other health services do not appear to fill the gap among those who become unemployed. Adequate healthcare services should be guaranteed to all population groups equally based on need, irrespective of the labour market status.

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Hanna Rinne, Jenni Blomgren

Lisätietoja julkaisusta

  • Vertaisarvioitu: kyllä.
  • Avoin saatavuus: kyllä.
  • Koko viite: Rinne, H., & Blomgren, J. (2023). Use of outpatient healthcare services before and after the onset of unemployment: A register-based propensity score matched study from Finland. PloS one, 18(8), e0288423.

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