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Keywords:

  • community health care;
  • gender and community care;
  • older people;
  • preventive home visit

Abstract

Since 1998 all municipalities in Denmark have been required by law to offer two annual preventive home visits to all home-dwelling citizens aged 75 or over. The influence of invitational procedures on acceptance rates has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to describe and investigate whether different invitational procedures were associated with first preventive home visit acceptance rates. The study was based on secondary analyses of data from the Danish Intervention Study on Preventive Home Visits. Data were collected from 1998 to 2002. Of the 4060 participants in the main study, 3245 reported receiving an offer for an identifiable preventive home visit, of whom 2399 (73.9%) provided complete data for the main analyses in the present study. Invitational procedures were categorised as: (1) a letter with a proposed date and time for the visit, (2) a visitor telephone call, and (3) a letter with encouragement to phone the visitor for appointment (letter without a proposed date). Covariates included sex, age, experience with preventive interventions, functional ability, self rated health, social relations and psychosocial characteristics. Statistical analyses included chi-square tests, and bi- and multivariable logistic regression analyses. Different invitational procedures were associated with first preventive home visit acceptance rates. Significantly more men (75.1%) than women (62.8%) declined the first preventive home visit regardless of the invitational procedure. Compared to ‘letter with a proposed date’, men had an odds ratio of 1.78 (95% CI: 1.16–2.74) for declining visits when ‘telephone call’ was used and an odds ratio 2.81 (95% CI: 1.79–4.40) when ‘letter without a proposed date’ was used as the invitational procedure. In women the odds ratios were 1.23 (95% CI: 0.91–1.68) and 1.87 (95% CI: 1.37–2.55), respectively.