An ecological study of the relationship between risk indicators for social disintegration and use of a somatic emergency department

Soc Sci Med. 1987;25(10):1121-7. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(87)90353-4.


During the last decade a number of studies have been dedicated to the relationship between social support and ill health. In this study the relationship between risk indicators for social disintegration in defined geographical areas and the utilization of a hospital somatic Emergency Department (ED) by the inhabitants of these areas was analyzed. Six socio-demographic variables were used as risk indicators for social disintegration. To measure illness behaviour a register of 57,481 ED visits, made by 34,915 individuals, to the General Adult ED at St Göran's Hospital was utilized. The proportions of immigrants, of adult unemployed and of persons moving into the areas were significantly related to the illness behaviour of seeking care at the ED. The results also showed a significant correlation between the sum of the six risk indicators and use of ED services for three of the four studied subgroups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anomie*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Role*
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Support*
  • Sweden