Home health care utilization: a review of the research for social work

Health Soc Work. 2004 Aug;29(3):219-44. doi: 10.1093/hsw/29.3.219.


The author reviewed the literature to identify the variables associated with home health care utilization using the Andersen-Newman model as a framework for analysis. Sixty-four studies published between 1985 and 2000 were identified through PUBMED, Sociofile, and PsycINFO databases. Home health care was defined as in-home skilled nursing, homemaker, mobile meals, home health aide, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or social work services. The review indicates that the client most likely to use home health care is elderly, has a high number of ADL/IADL impairments, lives alone, has a low level of informal support, and has Medicaid coverage. In the presence of informal support or when care recipients live with others, the initiation of formal services may be delayed until physical impairment of the care recipient is severe or caregiver burden is high. Implications for social work practice and research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Services for the Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Status
  • Home Care Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Work / statistics & numerical data*