Journal article

Do measures of self-reported morbidity bias the estimation of the determinants of health care utilisation?

M Sutton, R Carr-Hill, H Gravelle, N Rice

SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE | PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 1999

Abstract

Most national surveys of health care utilisation capture only self-reported measures of morbidity. If self-reported morbidity is measured with error, then the results of applied work may be misleading. In this paper we propose a model of the relationship between morbidity and health service utilisation which allows for reporting errors and simultaneity. Errors in self-reported morbidity are expressed as a function of person-specific reporting thresholds and recent contact with health services, arising because of better self-evaluation of current health status or a desire to justify consumption of a publicly-provided good. We demonstrate the bias in ignoring the potential problems of reportin..

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