Factors associated with young adults' obtaining general practitioner services

Aust Health Rev. 2002;25(6):109-18. doi: 10.1071/ah020109a.


This paper explores factors associated with the use of general practitioner services by young adults aged 20 to 24 years. The analyses examined sociodemographic and health data obtained for a community survey of respondents who lived in Canberra or Queanbeyan in 1999 and 2000 and linked this information to Medicare records of general practitioner visits over the following six months. In line with the Andersen model of health behaviour, predictor variables were classified as measures of physical and mental health needs for such services or as factors that predispose or enable the individual to obtain those services. Those who obtained general practitioner care were more likely to be female, to have been or be undertaking higher education and to be living with children. They were also identified by their having poorer physical health, more chronic diseases, higher levels of suicidal ideation and by their regularly using marijuana. General practitioners need to be aware of the potential mental health and substance use problems experienced by consumers in this age group. Strategies are also needed to encourage young men to seek general practitioner services when they are ill.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*