A shortcut to Rome: Exploring the Social Determinants of patients' Time to Diagnosis

Abstract : In this study, we measure time to diagnosis defined as the timespan from first symptoms to final diagnostic for four chronic conditions, and analyze the role played by patients social characteristics in accounting for time to diagnosis. We use self-reported data from an online open access questionnaire administered to a large French social network of patients with chronic conditions. Duration models were used to explain variations in time to diagnosis. The results suggest that social participation and social support reduce the probability of experiencing longer periods of time to diagnosis. Higher levels of education, on the contrary, increase the probability of experiencing longer period of time to diagnosis. We further analyze this result by identifying differences in health care-seeking behavior: more educated patients tend to first consult specialists, which is correlated with a longer time to diagnostic work-up. Indeed, ambulatory care specialists are less likely than GPs to refer patients to hospitals for additional tests, when needed. The findings on social capital support WHOs recommendations to enhance individual social capital as this could reduce the time period needed to obtain a final diagnosis. In addition, our results on education suggest that public interventions aimed at optimizing healthcare pathways through a GP referral system for specialists services may reduce period of time to diagnosis.
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Pré-publication, Document de travail
PSE Working Papers n°2018-01. 2018
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  • HAL Id : halshs-01703170, version 1

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Setti Rais Ali, Paul Dourgnon, Lise Rochaix. A shortcut to Rome: Exploring the Social Determinants of patients' Time to Diagnosis. PSE Working Papers n°2018-01. 2018. 〈halshs-01703170v1〉

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