PURPOSE: This study examined factors associated with past-year health care utilization among young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (YMSM) using Andersen’s behavioral model of health service use.
METHODS: From 2018 to 2020, 751 YMSM (aged 13-18) recruited online and offline for the MyPEEPS mHealth HIV prevention study completed an online survey. Hierarchical logistic regression models assessed associations between past-year health care utilization (i.e., routine checkup) and predisposing (parental education, race/ethnicity, age, and internalized homonegativity), enabling (health literacy, health care facility type, U.S. Census Divisions), and need factors (ever testing for HIV).
RESULTS: The sample included 31.8% Hispanic, 23.9% White, and 14.6% Black YMSM; median age was 16. Most (75%) reported past-year health care utilization, often from private doctor’s offices (29.1%); 6% reported no regular source of care. In the final regression model, higher odds of past-year health care utilization were found for younger participants (age 13-14, adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.91; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07-3.43; age 15-16 AOR = 1.55; 95% CI: 1.04-2.30; reference: 17-18) and those with increasing health literacy (AOR = 1.71; 95% CI: 1.36-2.16). YMSM with lower parental education had lower odds of past-year health care utilization (AOR = 0.56; 95% CI: 0.38-0.84), as did those relying on urgent care facilities (AOR = 0.60; 95% CI: 0.41-0.87; reference: routine care facilities) and those who identified as Mixed/Other race (AOR = 0.50; 95% CI: 0.28-0.91; reference: White).
CONCLUSIONS: Findings highlight opportunities to intervene in YMSM’s health risk trajectory before age 17 to reduce drop-off in routine health care utilization. Interventions to improve routine health care utilization among YMSM may be strengthened by building resilience (e.g., health literacy) while removing barriers maintained through structural disadvantage, including equity in education.
Predictors of past-year health care utilization among young men who have sex with men using Andersen’s behavioral model of health service use
LGBT Health [Epub 2022 Jul 22]. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2021.0488.