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Identifying User Profiles of Healthcare, Social and Employment Services in a Working-Age Population: A Cluster Analysis With Linked Individual-Level Register Data From Finland

Julkaistu 1.11.2023


A thorough understanding of the use of services in the population is important in order to comprehend the varying service needs of different groups. This explorative study aimed to find distinct user profiles in a working-age population based on individuals' annual use of healthcare, social and employment services and to explore socio-demographic and morbidity-related predictors of the user groups. Administrative register data on the use of various services and individual-level covariates from year 2018 were linked for all residents aged 18-64 of the municipality of Oulu, Finland (N = 119,740). K-means cluster analysis was used to group the study subjects into clusters, based on their frequency of using 22 distinct healthcare, social and employment services during 2018. Multinomial logistic regression models were utilized to assess the associations of cluster assignment with socio-demographic and health-related covariates (sex, age, marital status, education, occupational class, income, days in employment, chronic disease and receipt of different social benefits). Five distinct clusters were identified in terms of service use, labelled low to moderate users of healthcare (82.0%), regular employment services users with moderate use of healthcare (9.6%), supported employment services users with moderate use of healthcare with an emphasis on preventive care (2.9%), frequent users of healthcare, social and employment services (2.9%), and rehabilitation, disability services and specialized healthcare users (2.6%). Each cluster not only showed different patterns of service use but were also differently associated with demographic, socio-economic and morbidity-related covariates, creating distinct service user types. Knowledge on the different user profiles and their determinants may help predict future need and use of services in a population, plan timely, coordinated and integrated services, and design early interventions and prevention measures. This is important in order to save costs and improve the effectiveness of services for groups with different care needs.

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Jenni Blomgren, Sauli Jäppinen, Riku Perhoniemi

Lisätietoja julkaisusta

  • Vertaisarvioitu: kyllä.
  • Avoin saatavuus: kyllä.
  • Koko viite: Blomgren, J., Jäppinen, S., & Perhoniemi, R. (2023). Identifying user profiles of healthcare, social and employment services in a working-age population: A cluster analysis with linked individual-level register data from Finland. PloS one, 18(11), e0293622.

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