Factors associated with health care utilization among vulnerable populations: Using Gelberg's and Andersen's behavioral model for vulnerable populations

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Lisa Metsch - Committee Chair


In 2001 Andersen and Gelberg introduced the Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations which enables the identification of factors that might be particularly relevant to health care utilization among vulnerable populations. This dissertation uses this model along with the Health Services Research Data to conduct secondary data analysis to evaluate the factors that are most likely to influence health utilization outcomes among a sample of 1466 with vulnerable health status. Study participants are eighteen years of age or older and having one or more of theses vulnerable health characteristics: experienced mental illness, self-reported having HIV/AIDS, was homeless, was a substance abuser, has been a victim of violent crime, or has a low SES within the past twelve months. Health care utilization is characterized as discretionary health care (screening, out patient visits, use of preventive services) and non-discretionary health care (emergency care, hospitalization). The traditional/vulnerable predisposing, enabling and need domains included in this model are used to indicate factors significantly associated with different types of health care utilization.


Health Sciences, Public Health; Sociology, Public and Social Welfare

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