Two years post-tsunami in Thailand: who still needs assistance?
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BACKGROUND: On 26 December 2004, 280 000 people lost their lives in the Asia-Pacific region. A massive earthquake struck Indonesia, triggering a tsunami that affected several countries, including Thailand. This tsunami had important implications for the health status of Thai citizens and health planning, and thus there is a need to study its long-term impact. METHODS: This cohort study identified determinants of health service utilization (outpatient services, inpatient services, home care, medications and informal care) 1 and 2 years post-tsunami in Thailand. A two-part model with a multivariate logistic regression for each part was used to identify determinants of the propensity and intensity of utilization. RESULTS: Of 1943 participants, 1889 (97.2%) participated at 1 year and 1814/1889 (96.0%) at 2 years. Common determinants of health service utilization in post-tsunami settings were age, marital status, education level, employment status, number of health conditions and (physical and mental) health status. CONCLUSIONS: Knowing the determinants of health service use, health providers may be able to establish programmes for, or to carefully monitor populations, who are more likely to use services. The study results may be used to inform requests for health resources or to assist the development of guidelines for long-term disaster recovery planning.
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