Cultural Variation in Healthcare Consumption in 16 European Countries: National and Individual Drivers in the Case of Mild Medical Conditions: An Abstract

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Abstract

With this research we investigate the impact of individual- and country-level
characteristics on personal healthcare preferences in mild medical conditions.
Using a multilevel approach, we use data from 23,312 individuals from 16 European countries (including emerging economies), together with data on the country level for our analysis. We specifically look at preference for professional healthcare in mild medical conditions, as preference in urgent conditions will be less predictive of actual healthcare behaviour due to limited choices in these circumstances. Moreover, for general practitioners, dealing with mildly serious complaints constitutes a major part of their workload. Our findings show that healthcare preferences at the individual level can be explained by both human values (Schwartz 1992) and trust in the doctor. In particular, conservation values increase preference for professional healthcare, while openness to change values and self-transcendence values decrease this preference. Trust in doctor enhances preference for professional healthcare and socio-demographics and attitudes affect this as well. Our results thus show that people are influenced by their values in their health preferences. In addition, we show that societal tightness-looseness (Gelfand et al. 2011) enhances preference for professional help on the country level. We also found significant interactions between individual disposition (values) and environment (tightness-looseness): societal tightness enhances the effect of the values in the conservation and self-enhancement domains. Our results show that, on a country level, tighter norms on how to behave have a stronger effect on preference for professional medical help in case of mild medical conditions than other variables like GDP per capita, insurance system or supply of doctors. By showing insights into the drivers of healthcare demand, these results are of interest for governments, healthcare providers and insurers. General practitioners, for instance, can improve their communication and treatment using knowledge on the cultural and personal characteristics of patients and related preference for professional medical help in case of mild medical conditions. Internationally operating healthcare companies can improve predictions for healthcare in new markets as well as use our insights in shaping their communication and marketing strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarketing Transformation: Marketing Practice in an Ever Changing World
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) World Marketing Congress (WMC)
EditorsPatricia Rossi, Nina Krey
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer
Pages117-118
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)ISBN 978-3-319-68750-6
ISBN (Print)ISBN 978-3-319-68749-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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