Use of adult day care centers: Do they offset utilization of health care services?

Esther Iecovich, Aya Biderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose: Based on the medical offset effect, the goal of the study was to examine the extent to which users and nonusers of adult day care centers (ADCC) differ in frequency of use of out-patient health services (visits to specialists) and in-patient health services (number of hospital admissions, length of hospitalizations, and visits to emergency departments).Design and methods:A case-control study was used with a sample of 800 respondents, of whom 400 were users of 13 day care centers in the southern region of Israel and 400 were nonusers, matched by age, gender, and active family physician. Data collection included face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire. Data on health care service utilization were drawn from the central computerized data of one of the health care organizations in Israel.Results:Although users of ADCC significantly differed from nonusers in socioeconomic characteristics, they did not significantly differ from nonusers in the magnitude of health care services' utilization. Utilization of health care services was rather connected with morbidity rather than with use of ADCC. Therefore, no offset effect was found.Implications:The current form of ADCC in Israel focuses mainly on meeting social needs of the participants and therefore do not meet the their actual health needs. Therefore, inclusion of health services within ADCC may have an offset effect, but this necessitates further examination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2013


  • Disabled older persons
  • Health service use
  • Trade-off


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