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Use of Outpatient and Inpatient Health Care Services by Occupation: A Register Study of Employees in Oulu, Finland

Julkaistu 3.5.2022



The aim of this study was to examine how the use of outpatient and inpatient health services differs by occupational groups, and whether the differences are explained by sociodemographic factors and health status.


We used register-based data on 25–64-year-old employees living in the city of Oulu, Finland, in 2018 (N = 61,848). Use of outpatient health care services (public, private and occupational health care) among men and women was analysed with negative binomial regression models, and use of inpatient health care with logistic regression models, using two occupational classifications: occupational group (1-digit level) and more detailed occupation (2-digit level). Adjusted covariates were age, education, income, marital status, special reimbursement entitlements for medicines, and sickness absence.


Examined at the level of larger occupational groups, the use of outpatient and inpatient health care was less common than average among managers, professionals and skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers; in women also among craft and related trades workers. Controlling for covariates explained only part of the differences, more among women than among men. Analysed at the level of more detailed occupations, the adjusted use of outpatient and inpatient care was more common among health associate professionals and stationary plant and machine operators, both among men and women. Furthermore, the use of outpatient care was common among male personal care workers, protective service workers and metal, machinery and related trades workers as well as among labourers in mining, construction, manufacturing and transport, and female customer services clerks and sales workers.


The use of health care services differs by occupation, and the differences are not fully explained by sociodemographic factors and health status. High occupational risks, attitudes and knowledge may explain the more frequent use of health services. Furthermore, explanations may be sought from lack of access to occupational health care or healthier working conditions and behavior.

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Hanna Rinne, Mikko Laaksonen, Jenni Blomgren

Lisätietoja julkaisusta

  • Vertaisarvioitu: kyllä.
  • Avoin saatavuus: kyllä.
  • Koko viite: Rinne, H., Laaksonen, M., & Blomgren, J. (2022). Use of outpatient and inpatient health care services by occupation-a register study of employees in Oulu, Finland. BMC health services research, 22(1), 597. 

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