Background: Given the growing healthcare demands of the elderly, an improved understanding of the factors influencing their healthcare-seeking behaviors is necessary to enhance the effectiveness of the current healthcare system. This study empirically investigates the factors influencing the elderly population’s healthcare-seeking behaviors in Shanghai, China, from a gender differences perspective.
Methods: We combine both quantitative and qualitative analyses by constructing a binary logistic regression model and identifying the relevant influential factors based on the following types of dimensions: individual, family, and cultural.
Results: The results indicate that gender differences exist in the elderly population with common diseases but not in those with severe diseases, and that the female elderly are more likely to choose non-tertiary hospitals than males. In addition, age, marital status, employment status, income, health conditions, medical insurance, family support, and social capital are found to be critical influencing factors.
Conclusions: The findings provide a better understanding of the elderly population’s healthcare demands and can be used to promote healthcare equality.