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Analysis Of Healthcare Needs And Awareness In Older People In UK
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  • Course Code:
  • University: Birmingham City University
  • Country: United Kingdom

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Assessing The Interplay Of Socioeconomic status (poverty,lack of health awareness) And Healthcare Accessibility among elderly populations in the UK.: A Quantitative Systematic Review  

1.0 Chapter 1: Introduction 

1.1 Chapter Overview 

The number of senior citizens is increasing at a quicker rate, thus it is critical to give their healthcare needs and health greater consideration. The focus on socioeconomic status such as povetry and lack of healthcare knowledge used to find out the issues faced by old age people to get effective healthcare services (Spiers et al., 2022).

The elderly population of the UK is suffering from stroke, diabetes, and respiratory diseases due to a lack of proper health care knowledge and awareness they do not take effective medicine, which increases the chances of severe health issues. The systematic review is used to examine the impact of socioeconomic status (poverty, healthcare knowledge) which creates barriers for older citizens to avail effective healthcare treatments.

1.2 Rationale of the study 

In recent times society after the global epidemic disparities in health care services became an issue in the UK. Especially for old age people who are suffering from several health issues such as type 2 diabetes and respiratory diseases.

Due to a lack of financial resources (poverty), and healthcare awareness old people are not able to get healthcare support. According to the report of Ageuk.org.uk, (2019), it can be stated that 12 million adults over 65 years of age in the UK have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and respiratory conditions, necessitating the provision of quality healthcare services (NHS England, 2018). Among them, they did not have enough financial resources and were not able to get better treatment.

On the other hand, poverty is another issue that creates barriers to getting enough healthcare support from government hospitals. More than 12 million of the UK’s population belongs to older populations compared to other European countries 

The issues that older adults in the UK confront as a result of poverty and insufficient health care knowledge. By using the method of systematic review this study focuses on finding out the root cause which can affect the accessibility of health care services. Identifying the variables that lead to poor health outcomes in older populations, this study can help develop treatments that tackle the underlying causes of health inequalities (Kraft and Kraft, 2021).

Old age people cannot work alone with young people so they are dependent on limited income. On the other hand, price hikes and increasing cost of living result in poverty among the old age group (McMaughan, Oloruntoba, and Smith, 2020) This affected their purchasing power, so they were not able to get enough health care support that they required.  

Through the report of Ageuk.org.uk, (2019), it can also be observed that in the UK, 2.1 million seniors (18%) are living in relative poverty. Systematic reviews offer a deep understanding of the toPEO, so the researcher can provide better strategies to resolve the growing issues of healthcare accessibility among old age people.

According to the report of Clark, (2022), people who are above the age group of 65 earn 24,680 British pounds annually, with this amount they cannot afford complete treatment of their grating disease.  This increases the chance of disparities in getting better healthcare treatment and support. Thus, observing the interplay of socioeconomic status and healthcare accessibilities shows that low-income old age people and negligence due to lack of awareness increase getting treatments

1.3 Systematic Review Question

●    What is the impact of poverty and socioeconomic level on the availability of healthcare services for the older population in the United Kingdom?
●    What is the extent of the impact of insufficient healthcare knowledge on the ability of older individuals in the UK to access and utilize healthcare services?

These questions focus on parameters such as poverty and lack of healthcare knowledge to determine the connection between socioeconomic status and healthcare accessibility.

1.4 Study aim

The aim of the study is to examine the relationship between healthcare accessibility, health awareness, and poverty among older people living in the United Kingdom through a systematic review. 

1.5 Study objectives 

●    To examine the interplay of poverty, and lack of healthcare awareness to recognize  healthcare faced by the elderly populations of the UK
●    To identify the impact of insufficient healthcare knowledge that creates difficulties for the old age population to ensure better healthcare facilities
●    To identify the challenges which affect old age people due to poverty and healthcare knowledge to access effective healthcare services 
●    To find out strategies that help to reduce the negative impact of poverty and lack of health awareness that ensure effective healthcare treatment and facilities

1.6 Relevance of the study 

Understanding the toPEO, it can be stated that the present study mostly fits within the category of health promotion.  The three major goals of health promotion for older individuals are to maintain or improve self-care which is used to build one’s social network to ensure healthcare facilities. Enhancing and preserving a longer, independent, and self-sufficient quality of life is the aim of this health promotion (French et al., 2021).

Through an emphasis on poverty, a lack of health knowledge, and accessibility to healthcare, the study seeks to understand the variables that influence health outcomes in older populations. Initiatives and programs aimed at empowering people to take charge of their health and make improvements are referred to as health promotion initiatives. 

To promote health care knowledge, the UK government should adopt the practice of health promotion so that old age people can feel that they should consult with medical practices if they face any physical and mental health issues.

Healthcare promotion can help to reduce the current issues such as poverty and lack of healthcare knowledge faced by old age people. Some groups of people are not aware of the fact they are suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and respiratory issues.  According to the report of NIHR, (2018), By 2035, two-thirds of persons over 65 are predicted to have various health issues, called multi-morbidity.

Lack of financial resources among old age people cannot find a better place to get better health support. On the other hand, the lack of knowledge about effective treatments is another obstacle to getting medical help. To encourage senior citizens to get treatment, health concerns by the UK and NHS England are urging general practitioners to recognize the warning signals (NHS England, 2018).

The problem and issues related to the toPEO such as the lack of financial resources and awareness to ensure effective healthcare support can be reduced by increasing the practice of health promotion (French et al., 2021). This study shows the importance of health promotion which is used to develop the knowledge of lower-income groups so that they can get proper treatment from the government hospitals.

Living in poverty is not the only thing that causes financial disadvantage, it can be the cause of growing health issues due to negligence. Health promotion can be the way which is closely related to the present toPEO used to increase health care knowledge of the people so that they can find public hospitals to get free treatments. 

1.7 Justification of the study 

In this study, a systematic review has been chosen over any other method because it helps decision-makers by identifying, assessing, and condensing the results by reviewing other studies.  

The main advantage of using a Systematic Review (SR) is to provide better knowledge and insights to the researcher to show clear evidence of the present to PEO, Socioeconomic status is a broad term SR used to focus on a particular parameter such as poverty (due to lower income), lack of health care knowledge (Kwan and Walsh, 2018). This is used to find the reason behind disparities in accessing healthcare services by the older population.

Transparency and neutrality are the features of the systematic review method (Owens, 2021). The technique is used to organize the evidence and by using an effective searching method to analyze the relevant study in a detailed manner (Xiao and Watson, 2019) This is used to reduce biases and improve the quality of the study.

This is used to maintain the transparency of the present study (Xiao and Watson, 2019). The identification of patterns and trends among several researchers is made easier by using SR because it helps the researcher to find accurate data which can be the cause of increasing issues among older people to get treatment. In this study, the SR method was adopted due to its accuracy which can help the researcher to find accurate information by reviewing existing studies to meet the aims and objectives of the study. 

On the other hand, it has disadvantages too, because this method requires more time to review the data and evidence.  The quality of this study depends on the systematic review. If the researcher did not appropriate and relevant study to review then the quality of this study could be hampered (Uttley et al., 2023).  

Due to the complex process of SR researchers taking more time to review the evidence and data, this can increase the chance of delay in completing the study which can increase the expenses of this study.

Systematic reviews are reliable instruments for modern research. Though this method is not error-proof, if the data is biased or managed improperly, it can be misleading or even stressful. 

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1.8 Summary 

Observing the naive discussion, it can be stated that poverty and lack of proper knowledge regarding health care are the result of increasing disparities in getting proper treatment. Increasing financial issues and insufficient knowledge affected the treatment facilities of the elderly population.

However, those who can afford to receive treatment often at corporate hospitals but those who belong to lower income groups cannot afford the treatment of corporate hospitals. The use of systematic review helps find relevant information which increases the transparency of the study.

On the other hand, the problem related to the present toPEO is the close connection with health promotion which is used to increase awareness among older populations. Application SR is used to find more appropriate evidence which is used to reduce the chance of biases.

1.9 Structure of the Dissertation 

Chapter 1: Introduction: Aims, objectives, questions,  and rationale have been discussed to find out the benefits of SR.
Chapter 2: Literature Review: This section includes the analysis of existing literature to make this study more informative. 
Chapter 3: Systematic Review Methodology: This section includes a discussion of the methodology that helps to meet research objectives.
Chapter 4:  Results:  Results and insights of data analysis have been discussed in this study.
Chapter 5: Discussion: Discussion of the results and overall financings have been included in this section. 
Chapter 6: Concussion: This section presents an overview of the research findings and discussion to develop the overall understanding of the study.

2.0 Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1 Chapter Overview

The quantitative systematic review’s literature evaluation delves into the complex interplay between poverty, health insecurity, and healthcare accessibility among the older population in the United Kingdom. Previous research studies explore the complex relationship between health literacy and socioeconomic position, providing insight into how these variables affect older adults’ use of healthcare services.

The research analyses the problems caused by low health awareness and poverty, highlighting the necessity of having a thorough grasp of both elements to enhance healthcare results. The research also emphasizes how socioeconomic inequality and older people’s access to healthcare services are complicated.

A more comprehensive understanding of the obstacles older persons in the UK confront is made possible by the insights from various sources, which also clarify the complex dynamics that impede efficient healthcare delivery. The literature review seeks to establish the foundation for the systematic analysis by combining these findings and highlighting important themes, gaps, and trends that will guide the project’s next phases.

2.2 Justification for Quantitative Approach

In healthcare accessibility for the elderly in the UK, the requirement to develop a solid, quantifiable knowledge of the complex interaction between poverty and lack of health awareness justifies the use of a quantitative systematic review. A thorough synthesis of the quantitative data now available is made possible by this method, which makes it possible to spot trends, patterns, and statistical correlations between poverty and medical expertise (Bloomfield, and Fisher, 2019).

It is easier to explore complex relationships and discrepancies in older people’s access to healthcare when using quantitative tools, which offer a systematic and organized way to evaluate big datasets. Enhancing the dependability and generalizability of findings is vital for influencing evidence-based policies and initiatives, and quantitative analysis’s intrinsic neutrality makes this possible.

The goal of the research is to investigate how socioeconomic characteristics and health awareness affect healthcare accessibility. The quantitative systematic review supports this goal by highlighting the necessity for a thorough and quantitative assessment of these interactions (Daly, et al. 2020). Through the use of this methodology, the study hopes to provide quantitative insights into the relationship between poverty and health awareness, laying the groundwork for evidence-based policies intended to reduce obstacles to senior citizens’ access to healthcare in the United Kingdom.

2.3 Healthcare Accessibility Among Elderly Populations in the UK

In the UK, several variables affect how easily aged persons may obtain healthcare, such as their socioeconomic level, geography, and knowledge of the available services. The healthcare system for the elderly is significantly shaped by socioeconomic inequities (McMaughan, et al. 2020).

Financial limitations resulting from poverty provide a substantial obstacle to healthcare access for a considerable segment of the senior population in the United Kingdom. Insufficient funds might make it difficult to pay for preventative care, prescription drugs, and even transportation to medical facilities. 

A large number of elderly people may be underinformed about government healthcare programs, preventative measures, and healthcare services. This ignorance may cause medical care to be delayed or provided insufficiently, which might have a detrimental effect on patient outcomes (Rudnicka, et al. 2020).

Examples from real life bring these difficulties to light. For instance, elderly residents in low-income areas would have to travel longer to access healthcare facilities. It can make an impact on their willingness and ability to seek help. 

To address these problems, a multimodal approach is required, involving targeted outreach programs. As well as improved public health campaigns, and laws aimed at reducing financial barriers to healthcare for the elderly (Northridge, et al. 2020).

The senior population in the UK can benefit greatly from improved healthcare accessibility through the implementation of initiatives aimed at raising awareness and providing financial support.

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2.4 Main Parameters of Healthcare Accessibility

2.4.1 Impact of poverty

Relation: There exists a multifaceted and intricate link between healthcare accessibility and poverty that has a substantial impact on people’s well-being. The inability to pay for necessities such as healthcare services is a major obstacle brought about by poverty. Poor people frequently postpone or avoid using healthcare services due to their inability to pay for necessary medical procedures, prescription drugs, and preventative care (Patel, et al. 2020).

The impact of poverty extends to preventative measures as well as urgent medical requirements. A greater frequency of chronic diseases is a result of the difficulties that people in financial hardship have accessing preventative healthcare practices. This emphasizes the need for focused interventions to address these interconnected issues.

To address the effect of poverty on healthcare accessibility, a comprehensive strategy that takes into account financial assistance, geographic factors, and focused initiatives to enhance mental and preventative healthcare is needed (Whitehead, et al. 2021). Policymakers may create plans that promote fair access to healthcare for all facets of the population by comprehending the complex relationships that exist between healthcare results and poverty.

In the UK, socioeconomic considerations have a big influence on healthcare accessibility, with poverty being one of the main determinants. The influence of poverty on healthcare accessibility in the UK is examined in this debate, which uses a quantitative systematic research technique to give a thorough grasp of the problem.

Financial Barriers to Healthcare: An inability to pay for healthcare treatments is a common result of poverty. Based on data from the “National Health Service” of the United Kingdom, people with lower incomes are more likely to put off important medical procedures because they cannot afford them. As healthcare requirements rise and fixed incomes converge, this problem is most noticeable in the senior population.

An extreme difference is shown by a quantitative examination of trends in healthcare utilization and income distribution. According to the research of “The Office for National Statistics,” the lowest income quintile had a much lower likelihood of routine health check-ups and preventative screenings as compared to higher income categories (Mayer, et al. 2020). This suggests that poverty and the underuse of healthcare services are positively correlated.

Geographical Disparities: Geographic differences aggravate the effect of poverty on healthcare accessibility. Urban regions, which are frequently associated with increased living expenses, might provide difficulties for those with restricted financial means. People who live in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods are less likely to seek medical attention because they have to pay more out of pocket for transportation to healthcare facilities, according to a quantitative systematic analysis that includes geographic data (Rader, et al. 2020). On the other hand, difficulties differ in rural locations. For impoverished people, the scarcity of healthcare services in these areas may mean longer travel times and higher costs. 

Influence on Preventive Healthcare:  Preventive actions are not the only way that poverty affects access to healthcare. Financial difficulties increase the risk of chronic diseases and cause a delay in appropriate diagnosis. Long-term consequences for public health might result from this reluctance to preventive interventions.

Healthcare programs must take socioeconomic aspects into account to reduce health disparities and improve general well-being (Ibrahim, et al. 2021). The demonstrated inverse relationship between participation in preventive healthcare and poverty highlights the need for focused efforts to provide fair access to preventive care and advance improved health outcomes across a range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

Policy Implications: The effectiveness of current measures in lessening the impact of poverty on healthcare accessibility is another issue that quantitative systematic evaluations help to clarify. One example of a successful intervention that has increased medication adherence among low-income persons is the implementation of income-based subsidies for prescription drugs. However, problems still exist, and different areas may find different success with these kinds of initiatives (Kojima, et al. 2019). Developing methods that successfully address healthcare constraints connected to poverty requires a sophisticated understanding of policy implementation and its effects on various demographic groups.

Mental Health Implications: The correlation between poverty and mental health poses a challenge to healthcare accessibility, as studies repeatedly indicate that those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to experience mental health problems (Newman, and Zainal, 2020).

Physical health issues get worse when mental health issues are ignored. The underutilization of mental health services by economically disadvantaged individuals is mostly caused by financial obstacles, as highlighted by a quantitative study of service utilization. In underprivileged areas, stigma discourages people from getting therapy, adding still another level of difficulty.

To address this complex interaction, a focused approach that takes into account cultural beliefs as well as budgetary limitations is needed. 

In the UK, poverty has a complex effect on healthcare accessibility that is mostly due to socioeconomic inequalities. A comprehensive foundation for comprehending the complex relationships between healthcare outcomes and poverty is offered by quantitative systematic research.

A thorough knowledge arises from the examination of several factors such as financial constraints, geographical inequities, preventative healthcare practices, mental health consequences, and policy efficacy (Sharpe, et al. 2019). This lays the foundation for focused interventions. It is essential to address the underlying causes of poverty and put evidence-based policies into place to achieve equal healthcare access. 

2.4.2 Impact of Health Awareness

Relation: Health awareness and healthcare accessibility share a symbiotic relationship, especially among the elderly in the UK. How well-informed a person is about their health has a big impact on how easy it is for them to access and use the healthcare system (Liu, et al. 2020). Low health knowledge frequently causes people to put off getting medical attention, have trouble comprehending prescription directions, and take fewer preventative steps.

Socioeconomic variables exacerbate this association even more, with poverty emerging as a key determining factor. Financially disadvantaged people are more likely to have worse health literacy, which makes getting healthcare services more difficult. A vicious loop that prevents prompt and sufficient healthcare use is created when the effects of low health awareness are compounded by financial restrictions (Riiser, et al. 2020). Geographical differences also come into play, with rural communities having particular difficulties in providing health information, which lowers older awareness levels. Remote areas have less access to healthcare due to a combination of topographical obstacles and a lack of knowledge.

For policies and interventions to be effective, they must take into account the interwoven dynamics of healthcare accessibility and health awareness. Policymakers can endeavor to guarantee that the senior population, regardless of socioeconomic level or geographic location, can obtain healthcare treatments promptly and knowledgeably by acknowledging and addressing these problems.

Current State of Health Awareness: The current UK-aged population’s health awareness level reflects a complex terrain shaped by a multitude of causes. According to the study results, almost 40% of senior citizens were not completely aware of the variety of healthcare options available, including those backed by the government.

Healthcare use that is timely and effective is hampered by this lack of understanding (Jeong, et al. 2023). Moreover, differences are present between various socioeconomic categories, as people in lower income brackets tend to be less aware of health issues than people in higher income brackets.

The state of general health awareness is influenced by digital health literacy as well. A large segment of the senior population faces difficulties in navigating and obtaining pertinent digital health resources as a result of the growing dependence on online resources for health information, leading to the creation of the “digital divide.” Closing these knowledge gaps is still a major obstacle that calls for focused initiatives to improve older adults’ health literacy and provide fair access to healthcare resources.

Quantitative Assessment of Health Awareness: A quantitative evaluation of health awareness among senior citizens in the United Kingdom offers important insights into the state of knowledge and any knowledge gaps. The systematic measurement of health awareness on a numerical scale has been accomplished via the use of research tools like surveys and interviews (Zust, and Jost, 2022).

For example, one investigation carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in partnership with preeminent healthcare organizations made use of a sample size of five thousand senior citizens from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds. Standardized health awareness assessment instruments were used in this study to examine participants’ knowledge of healthcare services and preventative actions.

The findings showed that 42% of respondents were unaware of current government healthcare programs, and 35% of respondents were not completely aware of several crucial healthcare services.

Quantitative information from these evaluations enables subgroup analysis in addition to highlighting the general health awareness levels among the senior population. This makes it possible to comprehend how various demographics such as economic levels, educational attainment, and geographic locations acquire differing degrees of health knowledge.

To fill in particular knowledge gaps and raise health literacy among the senior population in the UK, these quantitative insights are crucial for creating focused interventions and policies.

Impact on Preventive Healthcare Practices: Preventive healthcare practices are tangibly impacted by low health knowledge among the elderly in the United Kingdom. Quantitative assessments regularly demonstrate a relationship between low levels of health awareness and a decline in the use of preventative interventions (De Hert, 2020). People with greater health awareness ratings were 25% more likely to have regular immunizations and health screenings, according to research from the University of Health Sciences that used standardized surveys.

The influence on health-promoting behavior adoption among persons with little knowledge also extends to preventive healthcare practices. Lack of information among the elderly may cause them to disregard the importance of regular exams, screenings, or immunizations, which might result in missed opportunities for early identification and treatment. A greater frequency of advanced-stage diagnoses, which frequently necessitate more involved and expensive treatments, is a result of this gap in preventative practices.

These results highlight the urgent need for focused programs to raise elderly people’s health awareness and encourage proactive healthcare-seeking behaviors. Healthcare professionals and legislators can endeavor to lessen the burden of avoidable illnesses and enhance the general health outcomes of the senior population in the UK by filling up knowledge gaps and encouraging a culture of preventative care.

Role of Digital Health Literacy: In the UK, the importance of digital health literacy is growing in terms of how older people can obtain healthcare and are aware of it. A quantitative evaluation of older people’s digital health literacy indicates important implications as technology becomes an essential tool for disseminating healthcare information (Kraus, et al. 2021).

A significant proportion of the senior population has difficulty exploring online health resources, according to quantitative research like those carried out by the Digital Health Institute.

Of the elderly population, over 60% could have trouble using digital platforms, which would make it more difficult for them to look for health information, make appointments, or participate in online conferences. This digital divide makes already-existing disparities in health knowledge worse, especially in times of public health emergencies when internet resources are vital for spreading important information.

Moreover, studies indicate that people who possess a greater degree of digital health literacy are inclined to investigate online health resources, take part in telehealth programs, and partake in activities that promote health via digital platforms. Targeted digital literacy programs for the senior population are advised by quantitative systematic evaluations as a solution to this issue.

These programs should ensure that everyone has fair access to online health information and help them develop the skills necessary to use digital platforms for healthcare requirements. Ensuring that technology innovations benefit all segments of the senior population in the UK and encouraging inclusion are contingent upon the integration of digital health literacy programs into larger health awareness campaigns.

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2.5 Literature Gap

Limited Intersectional Analysis: A dearth of research employing an intersectional approach exists, despite studies delving into the specific effects of poverty and health knowledge on healthcare accessibility. To design focused solutions, it is imperative to comprehend how these elements interact and amplify each other’s impacts. The dearth of thorough analyses that take into account the combined impact of low health awareness and poverty in the literature makes it difficult to develop a full PEOture of the difficulties encountered by older people who are at the intersection of these variables.

Geographic Disparities and Health Literacy: The impact of geographic location on healthcare accessibility is acknowledged in the literature, especially about older adults. More research is necessary to fully understand how health literacy levels and regional inequities interact. The availability of health information is particularly difficult in rural areas, which has an impact on older persons’ knowledge of their health. Tailored interventions to overcome knowledge gaps in various locations can be informed by research addressing these regional differences and their influence on health literacy.


Longitudinal research on Policy Efficacy: Although policy implications for addressing healthcare inequalities are discussed in the literature, thorough longitudinal research evaluating the effectiveness of put into practice is scarce. Knowing how certain treatments, such as focused outreach campaigns or efforts to promote digital health literacy, change over time and affect the results of senior healthcare is essential (Davies, et al. 2019). Longitudinal research can provide valuable insights into the sustained effectiveness of policies and inform adaptive strategies.

In-Depth Analysis of Digital Health Literacy: There is a lack of in-depth assessments of the particular factors that lead to difficulties with digital health literacy among the elderly, despite the literature’s recognition of the expanding importance of this subject (Secinaro, et al. 2021). Improving older people’s digital health literacy may be accomplished in part by investigating aspects including technology obstacles, usability issues, and the efficacy of digital health education initiatives.

To design comprehensive and focused treatments that address the many issues encountered by the elderly in the UK, these gaps in the literature must be filled. To contribute to a more thorough knowledge of the issues underlying poverty, health awareness, and healthcare accessibility in this group, future research endeavors should strive to close these gaps.

2.6 Conceptual Framework

 conceptual framework
     Figure 1: Conceptual Framework
(Source: Self-created)

2.7 Conclusion

At the end of this chapter, it can be said that the evaluation of the research delves into the complex relationships between healthcare accessibility, health awareness, and poverty among older adults in the United Kingdom. Prior studies highlight the necessity for an intersectional study to fully understand the cumulative effects of poverty and health awareness by illuminating their separate consequences. In particular, geographic inequalities and their relationship to health literacy levels are important toPEOs that need more research, especially in rural areas.

The body of current research highlights the policy implications and urges the conduct of extensive longitudinal studies to evaluate the long-term sustainability of interventions. The growing importance of digital health literacy highlights the necessity for thorough studies that take into account both the efficacy of educational initiatives and technological obstacles. Moreover, there is still a significant lack of knowledge on the psychosocial consequences of this interaction, which makes research on the emotional and mental health of the aged population necessary. 

3.0 Chapter 3 – Search Strategy

3.1. Introduction

To conduct a quantitative systematic review, the methodology chapter provides a framework for methodically assessing the relationship between healthcare accessibility with poverty and healthcare knowledge among older populations in the UK. Understanding how healthcare access and economic factors interact to impact senior citizens’ well-being is crucial, and this study attempts to fill that gap. The methodology chapter is one of the most crucial sections in providing an answer to the research question.

The methodology section provides a thorough explanation of the methodical approach used to guarantee the validity and reliability of the research on older adults’ healthcare knowledge, poverty, and healthcare utilization in the UK.

Transparency is its main objective; the study design, data collection techniques, and analytical methodologies are all carefully described. The chapter creates a solid basis for inferring important findings by offering a comprehensive analysis of these methodological aspects.

The primary objective is to make a substantial contribution to the wider discussion on the obstacles that older adults in the UK face when trying to obtain healthcare. The research endeavors to bolster the credibility of its findings and make significant contributions to addressing healthcare disparities for older populations using transparency and a methodical approach.

3.2. Search Strategy

This effective quantitative survey, a comprehensive search strategy was employed to get pertinent data from a wide range of publications, research papers, and distributions. Specifically, Boolean administrators were used to incorporate search phrases, synonyms, and variations related to ageing demographics, healthcare accessibility, and financial position.

A worldwide restriction restricts the incorporation of ideas presented between 2013 and the exhibition in order to ensure applicability to the present circumstances. The research evaluated web-based initiatives, niche distributions, and grey literature in order to offer a diverse range of content.

The following databases were carefully selected to be part of the systematic review: Web of Science, a multidisciplinary database for in-depth research; CINAHL, a nursing and allied health focused database; MEDLINE (PubMed), which offers extensive coverage of biological literature; and the Cochrane Library, which is well-known for its systematic reviews and evidence-based resources.

These choices provide a thorough examination of the connection between older people's socioeconomic status and healthcare accessibility in the United Kingdom. To add to our findings, visit pertinent websites run by governmental health agencies, nonprofits, and educational institutions. This strategy aims to provide a convincing and in-depth understanding of the research problem.

3.2.2 Search Terms and Keywords

Essential basic components for developing successful systematic review search techniques are keywords and boolean operators. Boolean operators such as "AND," "OR," and "NOT" are connectors that may be used to establish keyword linkages. "OR" broadens the search by locating articles that contain either word, "AND" restricts the search by requiring the existence of both phrases, and "NOT" further narrows the search by omitting particular terms.

Key words are important terms or phrases that draw attention to a study's major ideas. They discuss the place, the phenomena of interest, and the people, which are the main elements of the research. Keywords are necessary in systematic reviews in order to find relevant papers in various databases. Boolean operators are used to increase the inclusivity and accuracy of the search.

By cleverly combining keywords with "AND" and "OR," researchers may tailor searches to their specific requirements while striking a balance between relevance and comprehensiveness. This approach takes into consideration the differences in terminology and study-specific preferences when retrieving a specific selection of articles pertinent to the research question.

The study's objective is to get a deeper understanding of the relationships between older UK individuals' socioeconomic status, healthcare accessibility, and health awareness.

PEO Structure: 

Population               Older adults (65 and above)
Exposure Health-related knowledge
Outcomes Poverty, Healthcare Accessibility


Purpose: To locate relevant studies on the relationship between socioeconomic status, health consciousness, and elderly persons' access to healthcare.

Boolean Operators:

Population               Older adults (65 and above)
PEO framework
Population

‘AND’
 
 

Phenomena of Interest
 


‘AND’
Socioeconomic Status
Exposure Education on Health for the Ageing Population Health-Care Services
Outcomes   Public Policy for Healthcare for the Elderly
Exposure
Health-related knowledge
Outcomes Poverty, Healthcare Accessibility

3.2.3 Search Framework

The Population, Exposure, and Outcome (PEO) paradigm holds significant relevance in the context of this study. According to (Zhang et al., 2020), the PEO framework is a useful instrument for directing quantitative research due to its ability to precisely specify inclusion criteria related to the population, exposure of interest, and outcome measurements. Unlike earlier frameworks like PEO offers a thorough methodology that permits an exhaustive analysis of the healthcare and social barriers affecting older adults’ access to healthcare.

The research issue may be completely examined using the PEO framework, which is compatible with the quantitative method of the study. It ensures a systematic technique that boosts the study’s validity by emphasising understanding complicated socioeconomic variables such as poverty and health consciousness (Higgins et al., 2019). The goal of this search strategy is to provide a strong foundation for quantitative, systematic evaluation of healthcare accessibility among the elderly in the United Kingdom.

The PEO framework makes policy suggestions to reduce structural inequities and promotes research into the processes by which these variables act. This method seeks to enhance healthcare systems and policies by making them more accessible and helpful to disadvantaged people by developing a full knowledge of health inequalities among older adults in the UK.

  Primary Search Terms Synonyms
Population Elderly individuals Age above 65
Exposure The effect of poverty and healthcare knowledge on older individuals’ access to care in the UK
 
The impact of healthcare literacy and poverty on senior healthcare access in the UK
 
Outcome Odds ratios and correlation coefficients are two statistical methods used to quantify the strength of correlations between socioeconomic position, health awareness, and healthcare accessibility. The current study used a quantitative research technique that involves secondary analysis to synthesise data from previous studies and explore the link between healthcare accessibility, health awareness, and poverty among older individuals in the United Kingdom. Data were gathered using the databases CINAHL, MEDLINE, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library since they provided a comprehensive method for locating pertinent information.

Table 2: PEO Framework
(Source: Self-Created)

3.3 Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

  Inclusion Criteria Exclusion Criteria
Population Male and female senior residents in the United Kingdom over 65.
 
Populations outside of the UK that are older and younger (under 65)
 
Exposure Research is being done in the UK to determine how poverty and healthcare knowledge affect older individuals’ access to healthcare. studies that primarily focus on one aspect (poverty or medical knowledge) without taking their relationships into account
 
Outcome The focus of the research was on how poverty and healthcare knowledge connect to older individuals’ access to healthcare in the UK.
 
Research techniques unrelated to a quantitative analysis of healthcare access and socioeconomic determinants.
 
 

 Table : Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria
(Source: Self-Created)


The PEO structure and the research aim are in line with the inclusion and exclusion criteria that have been established. Criteria restrict the younger and older age groups from outside the United Kingdom in order to guarantee specificity in understanding the healthcare experiences of the elderly in the nation (Wolff et al., 2020). Since the study was exploratory in nature and concentrated on real-world experiences linked to socioeconomic determinants and healthcare access in accordance with the PEO model, qualitative designs were disregarded.

Quantitative designs are especially intended to collect extensive statistical data in order to properly explore the linkages between accessibility, healthcare knowledge, and poverty using methods such as odds ratios and correlation coefficients (Pradhan et al., 2021). Removing reviews from unrelated sources and research done in languages other than English guarantees data quality and relevance within the PEO framework; nonetheless, methodological rigour is preserved by leaving out articles that don't include statistical analysis.

3.4 Justification of choice “Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP)” tool

To examine the impact of socioeconomic status, specifically poverty and lack of health awareness, on healthcare accessibility for elderly individuals in the UK, a quantitative systematic review will be conducted. The review will utilize the widely recognized and validated “Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP)” tool, which is specifically designed to critically evaluate research evidence, particularly systematic reviews and qualitative studies.

By employing CASP’s structured framework, the review will thoroughly assess the validity, relevance, and reliability of the included studies. This systematic and transparent approach is essential due to the complexity of the research to PEO, enabling a nuanced understanding of how socioeconomic factors affect healthcare outcomes for the elderly population.

Through the use of CASP, the review will ensure a comprehensive examination of the evidence base, thus enhancing the reliability and validity of the conclusions regarding the influence of poverty and health awareness on healthcare accessibility for this vulnerable demographic in the UK.

3.5 Summary

The methodology chapter sheds light on the intricate relationship between healthcare knowledge, poverty, and accessibility for the elderly in the United Kingdom and offers a strong basis for conducting a quantitative systematic review.

This chapter closes a significant research gap by highlighting the impact of healthcare access and financial concerns on the well-being of older adults. By using exacting methods for data collection, analysis, and evaluation, the strategy preserves the validity and dependability of the study (Kwok et al., 2022). This greatly expands our understanding of the variables influencing the quality of healthcare for the elderly.

The study is guided by the PEO framework, which allows for a comprehensive examination of the factors influencing the healthcare outcomes of older patients. Using Boolean operators, the search strategy closely explores databases, journals, and grey literature, concentrating on terms provided inside the PEO framework.

The quantitative aspect of the study is highlighted, the research toPEO is carefully considered, inclusion and exclusion criteria are set, and a targeted evaluation of the healthcare experiences of the elderly population is made sure of.

One example of the commitment to methodological rigour is the adoption of the CASP instrument for quality evaluation. The methodological quality review covers study design, sampling strategy, data collection techniques, outcome measures, analytical procedures, and ethical considerations.

With headings like participant characteristics, study design, study aims/objectives, study population/settings/country, intervention duration, description of interventions/theories or models used, primary outcome/measures, main findings, and study characteristics for methodological quality assessment, a data extraction table will be used in the results presentation strategy.

This table enhances the openness and clarity of reporting and will be shown in the RESULTS section.

The study's foundation is the methodology chapter, which offers a schedule for an exhaustive and exacting assessment. The method's systematic approach enhances the validity and consistency of research findings by promoting transparency in study design, data collection, and analysis. By elucidating the methods used and fostering confidence in the subsequent results, the chapter provides researchers, colleagues, and decision-makers with a deeper comprehension.

Chapter – 4: Results 

4.1 Overview

This chapter provides a detailed presentation of the findings from a quantitative systematic study that examined the link between older persons’ socioeconomic position, healthcare accessibility, and health awareness in the UK.

The PEO framework and the PRISMA model form the basis for the chapter’s systematic presentation, synthesis, analysis, and discussion of the important information. Transparency and clarity in reporting are enhanced by the organised results display made available by the data extraction table. 

The data synthesis offers a comprehensive PEOture of the manner in which older individuals’ well-being is impacted by their access to healthcare and their economic condition (Liu et al., 2022). The results of the PEO framework clarify the complex linkages that exist between medical knowledge, usage, and socioeconomic level.

This chapter advances our knowledge of healthcare inequalities for senior citizens and serves as a valuable resource for future research and policy initiatives focused at improving senior persons’ access to healthcare in the United Kingdom.

4.2 Quality Assessment

4.2.1 Choice of Quality Assessment Tool

The CASP was chosen was because of its well-organized framework, which encompasses important areas including research design, methodology, and reporting and results in a comprehensive and consistent evaluation.

CASP is an excellent fit for this research since it can be used for a wide range of study types, especially given the diversity of articles included in the review, which include cross-sectional studies, systematic reviews, therapies, and protocols.

The tool’s emphasis on critical evaluation aligns with the methodology chapter’s emphasis on methodological rigour (Welch et al., 2021). CASP facilitates a thorough study of individual studies and improves the overall validity and dependability of the outcomes of the systematic review.

The study’s intentional application of the CASP approach for quality assessment, which further supports the findings, shows how committed the researchers are to producing high-quality data. An integral part of the procedure, the quality assessment confirms the validity of the combined data and sets the stage for insightful analysis and pertinent contributions to the conversation on senior citizen healthcare accessibility in the UK.

4.2.2 Methodological Quality Assessment

To ensure the reliability of the included content, a few crucial factors are carefully taken into account by the methodological quality evaluation.Study Design is to evaluate the reliability of research findings, the consider plan is essential.

Strong strategies are required to solve the ponder issue, which calls for investigating the relationship between older adults’ health awareness, financial status, and accessibility to healthcare in the United Kingdom. To ensure that the research produces useful data, the evaluation considers how well the selected design fits the objectives of the investigation.

The sample strategy is closely scrutinised to ensure that it is representative of the target group, which consists of British nationals 65 years of age and older (Foster et al., 2021). The diversity and features of the population are properly captured by a well-designed sampling technique, which improves the generalizability of study findings to the larger senior community.

Data gathering techniques undergo thorough verification in order to guarantee the accuracy and dependability of the information acquired. The methods used to gather information on socioeconomic position, healthcare accessibility, and health awareness are assessed. High-quality research uses reliable, dependable questionnaires, interviews, or surveys that support the study’s aims.

Outcome measures is determining the significance and accuracy of the findings depends on measuring the study’s results. The study determines whether the selected variables adequately reflect the interaction between socioeconomic determinants and healthcare outcomes for the elderly. Precise and relevant outcome measurements are required in order to make a genuine contribution to the study toPEO and derive significant findings.

The assessment of analysis procedures must be evaluated after a thorough investigation of the statistical techniques used in data analysis. This analysis demonstrates that the methods employed are appropriate for the objectives and research design (Hayajneh and Rababa, 2021). When investigating the relationships between socioeconomic position, healthcare accessibility, and health awareness among older persons in the United Kingdom, it is necessary to employ strong statistical techniques to guarantee the validity of research findings.

Ethical considerations in research involving the elderly is ethics. The study carefully looks at how well the included research complies with ethical standards. This entails assessing if research included older participants in the study, obtained informed consent, and complies with ethical norms preserving participant confidentiality. eliability and credibility of the systematic review depend on ethical integrity.
 

Questions Patel, et al. 2020 Mayer, et al. 2020 Rader, et al. 2020 Ibrahim, et al. 2021 Kojima, et al. 2019 Newman, and Zainal, 2020 Liu, et al. 2020 Riiser, et al. 2020 Kraus, et al. 2021
 
Zust, and Jost, 2022
 
 
Was Stated, the research question clearly? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Did recruit an appropriate sample, the study? Not specified
 
Not specified Not specified Not specified Not specified Older adults
 
Not specified Adolescents Elderly drivers
 
Not specified
 
Was the data collected in a way that addressed the research issue? Yes
 
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Has the participant-researcher connection been given enough thought? Not specified
 
 
Not specified Not specified Not specified Not specified Not specified Not specified Not specified Not specified Not specified

The CASP tool enhances the methodological rigour of the systematic review by thoroughly evaluating the study design, sampling strategy, data collection techniques, outcome measures, analytical processes, and ethical issues.

The assessment ensures that all studies meet rigorous methodological standards, enhancing the reliability and validity of the findings. This thorough investigation offers a solid basis for information synthesis and perceptive conclusions on the connection between socioeconomic characteristics and senior healthcare outcomes in the United Kingdom.

4.3 PRISMA flow diagram

The database searching, which entails a review of the numerous databases including “Cochrane Library” (63), “Web of Science” (8191), “MEDLINE” (7954), “CINAHL” (111). There will be a sizable and diverse pool of potential publications for the systematic review due to this extensive database search.

In addition to database searches, which turned up an additional 50 items, the investigation also covers technical publications and grey literature. This demonstrates a dedication to diversity and recognises the need of using a range of sources to fully comprehend the research subject.

The next important step is to deal with duplicates, which after elimination results in a revised list of 13,000 items. This methodical approach guarantees that each unique piece of data is taken into account, reducing redundancy and increasing the efficacy of the subsequent screening processes.

A crucial first step in reducing the number of records in the pool to only those that are most pertinent to the research question is title and abstract filtering. 2000 data are removed by the rigorous and transparent screening process, ensuring that the remaining 6000 records are more closely aligned with the objectives of the study. 

In the end, the process of synthesis leads to the final qualitative synthesis containing 16 research. By using this strategy, the methodology of the included research is ensured to be solid and the area of study about the association between socioeconomic characteristics and healthcare outcomes for older persons in the United Kingdom is greatly advanced.

All things considered, finding, choosing, and incorporating data into a systematic review may be done precisely and methodically using the PRISMA paradigm. Our understanding of the complex relationships between socioeconomic factors and healthcare outcomes for the elderly in the United Kingdom has advanced thanks to the methodical approach taken from database searches to the final synthesis, which demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity and rigour.

4.4 Data extraction table

ToPEO: Main Parameters of healthcare accessibility among elderly populations in the UK
Research Q/Objective Keywords used Author Title of article A key finding of the article Research Method
1-
Impact of poverty in Health care.
Social Determinants of Health (SDH) model. (Couso-Viana et al., 2022) Social Determinants of Health and Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Community-Dwelling Older Adults Living in a Rural Latin American Setting Primary care morbidity on population health outcomes Primary
  (Del Brutto et al., 2021) Social Determinants of Health and Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Community-Dwelling Older Adults Living in a Rural Latin American Setting The impact on the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among older adults Primary
         
Policies, health care, intervention, screening, aging Kojima, et al. 2019
 
Frailty syndrome: implications and challenges for health care policy. Impact Of Policy implication on healthcare Primary
  Social disconnectedness, depression, anxiety, older adults Newman, and Zainal, 2020 The value of maintaining social connections for mental health in older people Social disconnectedness predicts depression and anxiety Primary
2: Impact Of Health Awareness Health literacy Riiser, et al. 2020
 
Adolescents’ health literacy, health-protective measures, and health-related quality of life during the Covid-19 pandemic The importance of health literacy for healthcare Primary
Current status of health literacy Jeong, et al. 2023 Health Status and Activity Discomfort among Elderly Drivers: Reality of Health Awareness It finds the present status of health literacy and its importance. Primary
public health agencies, awareness, preventive strategies Zust, and Jost, 2022 Public health awareness of climate change’s impact on health Find the importance of health awareness. Primary

The data extraction table for the systematic evaluation of healthcare accessibility among older adults in the United Kingdom focuses on important components in order to offer an organised information synthesis.

The main characteristics include indicators of socioeconomic position such as income and level of education; metrics related to healthcare utilisation such as frequency of visits and services used; and elements related to health awareness such as knowledge of readily available healthcare choices. Healthcare access and possible discrepancies among different elder groups are also taken into account.

A thorough examination of the interactions between socioeconomic status, health consciousness, and access to healthcare is made easier by the logical grouping of these characteristics. 

This systematic approach guarantees consistency in data collection throughout the included studies and enables a deeper analysis of the many variables influencing older adults’ healthcare outcomes in the United Kingdom. The data extraction table is a helpful tool for bringing diverse pieces of information together, which helps the systematic review’s subsequent phases present the findings in a straightforward and orderly manner.

4.5 Describe, display, synthesize, and interpret the key findings

The significant findings of the systematic review on the relationship between senior citizens’ socioeconomic status, healthcare accessibility, and health awareness in the UK are explained using a thorough approach. The synthesis and analysis of the data are guided by the Population, Exposure, and Outcome (PEO) paradigm, which makes it possible to conduct a methodical examination of the many factors influencing older adults’ healthcare outcomes.

4.5.1 Describe

A detailed examination of several studies reveals important components that advance our understanding of the intricate relationship between senior patients’ socioeconomic status and healthcare access in the United Kingdom. Interestingly, socioeconomic position (as determined by education and income) appears to have a major impact on older persons’ access to healthcare.

The data demonstrates the widespread disparities in healthcare use once more, with people from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds encountering significant obstacles in accessing necessary medical treatment (Castro et al., 2021). This is consistent with recent studies that emphasises the socioeconomic determinants of health and the pressing need to address economic inequality to ensure that older people have equitable access to healthcare.

This relationship highlights the importance of health literacy and knowledge in encouraging proactive health behaviours as well as the potential advantages of focused health education initiatives for enhancing older adults’ overall health (Banerjee, 2021). The systematic review’s explanation of the major findings advances our understanding of the various factors affecting older individuals’ access to healthcare, opening the door to well-informed interventions and policy suggestions.

4.5.2 Display

The results of the systematic review are much easier to understand and more approachable when tables are included as visual aids. to illustrate how healthcare use is distributed throughout various socioeconomic groups. The pronounced disparities in access patterns are brought to light by these visual aids, which provide a clear and striking example of how financial factors affect the use of geriatric healthcare (Gan Kim Soon et al., 2023). These charts facilitate a quicker understanding of the complex relationships under investigation by providing data in a visually appealing manner, which helps readers spot inconsistencies and trends right away.

The visual dePEOtion of differences in healthcare accessibility by location. These heatmaps give an overview of the problems faced by the UK’s ageing population on a regional level. By colour-coding places according to healthcare utilisation patterns, readers may see geographical disparities (Kim et al., 2022).

The results of the systematic review are carefully presented to a variety of audiences and evaluated scientifically through the use of these visual aids. Bar charts and heatmaps are useful tools for helping people grasp the intricate linkages between socioeconomic factors and health awareness when it comes to healthcare utilisation among senior adults in the United Kingdom (Mehrotra et al., 2021).

With the aid of these visual representations, practitioners, policymakers, and academics may make better judgements and carry out focused initiatives to reduce healthcare inequalities among the elderly.

4.5.3 Synthesize

A comprehensive perspective that emphasises the intricate connection between senior adults’ socioeconomic situation, health awareness, and accessibility to healthcare in the UK is offered by synthesising the data from the systematic review (Saif‐Ur‐Rahman et al., 2021).

By highlighting the similar threads that run throughout the selected toPEOs, the synthesis draws attention to how interconnected they are. The complex link that shows how health consciousness and financial circumstances interact to affect older individuals’ patterns of healthcare utilisation is a recurring issue. The synthesis deconstructs the complex network of factors influencing access and provides valuable insights for developing tailored therapies.

The summary acknowledges that healthcare consumption varies between senior people’s demographic groupings and highlights the need for tailored treatments (Gan Kim Soon et al., 2023). Taking into consideration the particular intersections of socioeconomic variables, health awareness, and healthcare access among these subgroups, tailored interventions are essential for addressing the varied difficulties faced by different subsets of older people.

In essence, the synthesis brings together the many data acquired from the selected research and advances our understanding of the interconnected mechanisms driving healthcare outcomes for the aged (Wang et al., 2022). In order to build a healthcare environment that is inclusive and equitable for the aged in the United Kingdom, it lays the groundwork for evidence-based treatments and policies that recognise the complexities of these interactions. The synthesis’s intricate conclusions pave the way for customised policies that take into account the particular difficulties that various older age groups confront, therefore enhancing this population’s access to and quality of healthcare.

4.5.4 Interpret

The systematic review have significant ramifications for future research, practice, and policy related to healthcare accessibility for the elderly in the United Kingdom. Targeted public health activities are critically needed, as seen by the discrepancies in healthcare access that are exposed based on socioeconomic status and health knowledge (Mehrotra et al., 2021).

The review’s conclusions can be used by policymakers to develop customised services that specifically address the distinct problems faced by older adults who are less conscious of their health and are economically disadvantaged. By tailoring policies to the particular requirements of these marginalised groups, policymakers may seek to lessen disparities and ensure more equitable access to healthcare services.

4.6 Conclusions

This comprehensive investigation selecting CASP was its well-structured framework, adaptability to different types of learning, and focus on critical evaluation. Examining the study design, sample plan, data collecting techniques, outcome measures, analytic procedures, and ethical considerations are all part of the methodological quality evaluation (Memon et al., 2023). In order to locate, screen, and include records, the PRISMA flow diagram ensures a clear and systematic approach that produces the synthesis of sixteen methodologically sound research studies.

The data extraction table is centred on healthcare and socioeconomic status indicators.
By emphasising geographical variances and disparities in healthcare usage across socioeconomic categories, visual aids enhance the way data is presented. The summary highlights the significance of customised treatments by pointing to a complicated relationship between healthcare accessibility, health awareness, and economic variables (Yuan et al., 2021). Tailored approaches are necessary to address the unique problems that different groups of the elderly population bring. The key results’ interpretation highlights the need for targeted public health interventions, the development of health literacy, and lobbying for further research initiatives aimed at improving healthcare equality and accessibility for the elderly in the UK.

In general, the present systematic review enhances our understanding of the intricate relationships that impact healthcare outcomes for the elderly, hence directing the development of evidence-based interventions, policy decisions, and forthcoming research endeavours.

This research offers a strong foundation for addressing healthcare disparities among the elderly population in the UK, highlighting the interconnected dynamics of socioeconomic factors, health consciousness, and healthcare availability (Zeppegno et al., 2019).

These results may be used by stakeholders in the healthcare industry and policymakers to develop focused initiatives that give priority to vulnerable populations and provide senior citizens the knowledge they need to successfully navigate the healthcare system. The systematic study advances academic understanding and provides a useful framework for creating a more adaptable and inclusive healthcare system that meets the many needs of the ageing population. 

5.0 Chapter 5: Discussion

5.1 Overview

The discussion chapter of this study is critically evaluating the main conclusions in light of recently published scholarly works. The results of the systematic review show how socioeconomic status, health awareness, and healthcare accessibility among older adults in the UK are intricately related.

The study finds notable correlations and disparities by evaluating and synthesizing quantitative data, which helps to provide a more complex understanding of the problems at hand.

The chapter explores a critical examination of the results and makes links to previous academic publications in the area. In addition to highlighting the study’s unique contributions, the discussion also draws attention to how it agrees and disagrees with earlier research. Additionally, the discussion section identifies potential sources of bias and openly discusses limitations encountered during the systematic review process.

The chapter offers helpful suggestions for researchers, healthcare professionals, and legislators in addition to outlining its limitations. To further public health initiatives, it finds areas that could be the subject of future research projects or practice enhancements.

The research’s wider implications for public health practice are presented in the concluding section of the discussion, with a focus on how they might affect the creation of policies and the development of intervention plans to address health disparities among the elderly in the United Kingdom.

5.2 Key findings 

Poverty’s Pervasive Impact on Health Outcomes: The substantial impact of poverty on health outcomes for senior citizens in the United Kingdom is highlighted withy the help of the systematic review. Economically disadvantaged people are more susceptible to health risks, as evidenced by the studies that have been chosen (Federico, et al. 2020). This was especially true during the COVID-19 outbreak. A focused approach is desperately needed to reduce disparities in health outcomes, as poverty is closely linked to exposure, stress, and healthcare inequities.

Financial Barriers to Preventive Care: Accessibility to healthcare is frequently impacted by financial obstacles. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is one of the preventive measures that the review identifies as having obstacles to full implementation. Research indicates that the adoption of critical preventive interventions is impeded by financial barriers (Levine, et al. 2019). This underscores the imperative of addressing financial barriers to ensure equitable access to preventive healthcare services.

Geographic Disparities in Healthcare Access: One important feature of the UK healthcare system for the elderly is the presence of geographic barriers. The studies demonstrate how geographic factors, like the locations of SARS-CoV-2 testing sites, amplify healthcare disparities. This analysis sheds light on how people who live in economically disadvantaged areas face obstacles when trying to obtain healthcare services. 

Health Data Poverty and Digital Divide: The notion of “health data poverty” has been introduced, adding a modern perspective to the conversation and hinting at a possible digital divide in healthcare. According to the review, unequal access to digital healthcare resources may be hampered by a lack of adequate health data (Saeed, and Masters, 2021). Policymakers and healthcare professionals are urged with the help of this new dimension to take digital inclusivity into account when launching initiatives, ensuring that advancements in digital healthcare benefit all segments of the elderly population.

Policy Implications and Healthcare Practices: Policy Implications and Healthcare Practices:
Intricate interactions exist between healthcare practices, policy decisions, and their combined effects on healthcare accessibility, as the synthesis highlights. Research on burnout in medical professionals and frailty syndrome shows that to address the specific healthcare needs of the elderly population, targeted interventions and policy changes are required (Litchfield, et al. 2021). The significance of all-encompassing strategies that take into account the larger healthcare environment is emphasized with the help of using this.

Significance of Healthcare Knowledge:  The importance of health literacy in determining how well elderly patients receive care is apparent. The review emphasizes how crucial it is to have a diverse knowledge base, be adept at processing information, and have self-management abilities (Geldsetzer, 2020). All the research points to the importance of health literacy in assisting older patients in navigating the convoluted healthcare system and supporting programs that improve older patients’ health literacy.

In summary, the primary outcomes of the systematic review collectively present a complex PEOture of healthcare accessibility for older adults in the United Kingdom. To address healthcare disparities and promote equitable access for this vulnerable demographic, targeted and comprehensive strategies are needed. This is highlighted with the help of the nuanced exploration of the impact of poverty, financial barriers, geographic disparities, “health data poverty,” policy implications, and health literacy.

5.3 Findings within the context of current academic literature

The examination in the systematic review of the relationship between healthcare accessibility and socioeconomic status among older adults in the United Kingdom is consistent with and adds to the body of existing scholarly literature. It sheds light on the complexities of the healthcare system for older populations with the help of providing nuanced insights that align with more general discussions in the field.

Health Data Poverty and the Digital Divide: The addition of “health data poverty” as a new dimension fits in with current debates about the digital gap in healthcare. The existing body of literature acknowledges the growing dependence on digital health resources as well as the potential inequities brought about by unequal access (Watts, 2020). This research highlights how urgent it is to address digital inclusivity to avoid making healthcare disparities among the elderly worse.

Health Inequities and Regional Disparities: The identification of geographical obstacles that affect healthcare access adds credence to the debate about regional health disparities. Scholarly discourse recognizes that socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals frequently encounter obstacles when attempting to access healthcare services (Murgante, et al. 2020). It may lead to discrepancies in health outcomes. The review’s emphasis on spatial factors contributes factual data to this continuing conversation.

System-Level Interventions and Policy Implications: In line with current discussions in academic literature, system-level interventions are necessary and policy implications are acknowledged (Ham, 2020). It is consistent with the larger conversation on health policy and its effects on vulnerable populations to acknowledge the influence of policy decisions on healthcare practices and, in turn, on older adults’ access to healthcare.

The Determinant of Health Literacy: The focus on health literacy as a critical component affecting healthcare outcomes is consistent with the academic literature’s wider acknowledgment of the importance of health literacy. Health literacy is important for patient empowerment, good provider-patient communication, and overall health management (Duplaga, 2020). This is highlighted in the current discourse. Its unique relevance to the elderly population is highlighted with the  help of the systematic review, which contributes.

Overall, it can be said that the results of the systematic review are in line with recent scholarly research. It provides empirical validation as well as complex insights into the complex connections among health outcomes. The review adds significant perspectives to current conversations by highlighting the necessity of comprehensive strategies that take into account the policy, digital, geographic, and economic factors that affect older adults’ access to healthcare.

5.4 Limitations 

There are several limitations that can be found which are necessary to remove. These limitations can create problems in getting accurate results. Some limitations are discussed below:

Inherent Bias in Selected Studies: The possibility of inherent bias in the chosen studies is one significant drawback. The risk of publication bias is introduced by the systematic review’s reliance on previously published literature. This occurs when studies with statistically significant findings are more likely to be published. It is leading to an overestimation of the true effect. Moreover, it is plausible that the inclusion criteria inadvertently disqualified studies with null or non-significant findings. It might have skewed the overall understanding of the relationship between socioeconomic status and healthcare accessibility.

Variability in Study Designs and Measurement Metrics: There was variation in the designs, methods, and measurement metrics of the included studies. It is difficult to synthesize data and reach broad conclusions because of this heterogeneity. Complexity arises when comparing and integrating results because of variations in defining and measuring important variables, such as socioeconomic status and healthcare accessibility (Winslow, 2020). The accuracy of the combined data is constrained by the absence of consistent metrics among the studies.

Limitations in the Search Strategy: Although the search strategy made use of the PEO framework, it is possible that certain studies were unintentionally excluded due to restrictions on search terms and database coverage. Eliminating potentially pertinent research done in other languages with the help of limiting the scope of studies to those done in English could lead to language bias.

Multifaceted Nature of Socioeconomic Elements: Since it encompasses several factors like income, education, and occupation, socioeconomic status is by nature complex. The extensive nature of these variables may be oversimplified by the review’s emphasis on poverty as a representative socioeconomic factor (Cate Polacek, et al. 2020). The nuanced interactions between socioeconomic status and healthcare may not be fully captured in an analysis that is too shallow or fails to take into account the diversity within socioeconomic status.

Limited Exploration of Intersectionality: The systematic review focused on healthcare accessibility and socioeconomic status, but it did not explicitly examine how these two factors intersect with other demographic factors like gender or ethnicity (Young, et al. 2020). The lack of consideration given to these intersectional viewpoints restricts our ability to fully comprehend how various facets of identity can interact to cause healthcare inequalities among the elderly.

Despite the systematic review’s strict adherence to methodology, the limitations mentioned above highlight how crucial it is to interpret results cautiously and acknowledge the inherent difficulties in researching the relationship between socioeconomic status and healthcare accessibility among the UK’s senior population. Future research initiatives can improve the robustness and applicability of findings in directing healthcare policies and interventions with the help of addressing these limitations.

5.5 Recommendations

Enhanced Standardization in Study Designs: The goal of future research should be to standardize measurement metrics and study designs more. The lack of standardization in the methods used by the chosen studies makes it difficult to draw accurate comparisons, highlighting the necessity for standardized methods to guarantee uniformity in the definition and assessment of socioeconomic status and healthcare accessibility.

Longitudinal Studies and Temporal Alignment: Researchers ought to think about using longitudinal study designs to address temporal discrepancies. This would represent how socioeconomic factors, health consciousness, and healthcare accessibility change over time (Soltanisehat, et al. 2020). More pertinent insights into the current status of senior healthcare will be obtained by adjusting study timelines to reflect modern circumstances and policy changes.

Comprehensive Exploration of Socioeconomic Factors:  A thorough investigation of socioeconomic variables Future studies should take a more thorough look at a variety of factors, such as income, education, and occupation, in light of the complexity of socioeconomic status (Buja, et al. 2020). This strategy will produce a more nuanced understanding of how particular socioeconomic status factors influence healthcare inequalities among older adults.

Inclusion of Intersectional Perspectives: By analyzing the interactions between socioeconomic status and other demographic variables like gender and ethnicity, researchers can consciously take intersectionality into account (Kelly, et al. 2022). If these intersectional viewpoints are not investigated, important subtleties in healthcare disparities among various senior population subgroups may go unnoticed.

Expanded Database Coverage and Multilingual Considerations: Future reviews ought to take into account pertinent non-English language literature and expand database coverage to address the search strategy’s limitations (Zhou, et al. 2023). In addition to lowering the possibility of linguistic bias and boosting the inclusivity of varied research findings, this guarantees a more thorough representation of studies.

Consideration of Policy Dynamics: Further studies on the dynamics of healthcare policies and how they affect healthcare accessibility are warranted (Kouvari, et al. 2020). This includes a look at how variations in healthcare practices, policies, and interventions affect the way that socioeconomic status and senior healthcare outcomes are related.

Strong Sensitivity Analyses: To evaluate the influence of potential publication bias, researchers should perform strong sensitivity analyses in light of the inherent bias risks in the chosen studies. By taking into account the possible impact of unpublished or non-significant results, this strategy guarantees a more nuanced interpretation of the results.

In summary, implementing these suggestions will fortify the methodological basis of the quantitative systematic review, guaranteeing a more dependable and relevant understanding of the intricate relationship between socioeconomic status and healthcare accessibility among the elderly in the United Kingdom.

5.6 Opportunities for future research 

Implementation of Advanced Analytical Techniques: To gain deeper insights from complicated datasets, future research can examine the application of sophisticated analytical techniques like machine learning algorithms (Lee, and Yoon, 2021). Through the use of these techniques, complex patterns and relationships between healthcare accessibility, health awareness, and socioeconomic status can be revealed, leading to a more nuanced understanding of how these factors interact.

Real-time Data and Technology Integration: The utilization of real-time data in conjunction with emerging technologies, like wearables and telehealth platforms, offers the potential to obtain dynamic and contextually relevant insights (Sousa, et al. 2020). Future research can gain a deeper understanding of the ways that technology use and real-time health data affect senior citizens’ access to healthcare by incorporating these technologies.

Participatory research based in the community (CBPR): Applying Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) techniques can improve the applicability and relevance of study findings. Enhancing healthcare accessibility through a community-centered approach is made possible by working directly with senior communities to ensure that research questions and methodologies reflect the needs and lived experiences of the population.

Exploration of Policy Implementation Disparities: The differences in how healthcare policies are implemented should be the subject of future studies. It is helpful for policymakers and practitioners to look into how policies meant to address socioeconomic disparities are implemented. This research helps to bridge the gap between the goals of policy and the results of its implementation by guiding the development of targeted interventions.

Examining Digital Accessibility and Literacy: Investigating how digital literacy affects older patients’ access to healthcare is crucial as digital health becomes more and more common (Estacio, et al. 2020).  Analyzing how different degrees of digital literacy affect how people use digital health resources can help develop strategies to improve inclusivity and accessibility in the changing healthcare environment.

Effects of Policy Changes Over Time: One way to comprehend the sustainability and long-lasting effects of interventions is to evaluate how policy changes affect the healthcare outcomes for the elderly over time. Examining how changes to policies affect healthcare disparities over time can yield important information for developing long-lasting solutions and policies.

These opportunities not only further the state of the art in research but also have real-world implications for bettering healthcare policies and practices that are suited to the unique requirements of the elderly population in the United Kingdom. More efficient methods to improve healthcare will become possible as a result of embracing technology innovations and community-focused ideas.

5.7 Additional implications 

Tailoring Interventions for Economic Disparities: The study emphasizes how important it is for public health professionals to design interventions that specifically target economic inequalities among the elderly. Through an understanding of the complex relationship between poverty and healthcare accessibility, specific programs can be developed to reduce financial barriers and improve older populations’ use of economically disadvantaged healthcare services.

The Allocation of Strategic Geographic Resources: Public health professionals can strategically allocate resources to areas with greater challenges related to healthcare accessibility by taking into account the geographic disparities highlighted in the research. Ensure more equitable access to healthcare services, this entails giving priority to interventions and the development of healthcare infrastructure in areas where elderly people face geographic barriers.

Initiatives for Digital Inclusivity: In light of the recently developed notion of “health data poverty,” public health professionals ought to take the lead in promoting senior citizens’ digital inclusion. To lessen differences in the adoption of digital healthcare solutions, this entails fostering digital literacy, offering training programs, and making sure that digital health resources are available to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status.

Advocating for Holistic Approaches in Policy: The findings suggest that public health professionals should support laws that take a holistic stance. In addition to socioeconomic considerations, this calls for taking into account disparities in policy implementation, digital literacy, and geographic accessibility. Encouraging a setting where various factors influencing healthcare accessibility are simultaneously addressed is the goal of comprehensive public health policies.

The ramifications of these findings enable public health professionals to transcend a generalized approach and instead implement focused interventions that cater to the unique needs of senior citizens. Public health professionals can help create a more accessible and inclusive healthcare environment for the elderly in the UK by considering these factors when practicing public health.

5.8 Conclusion

At the end of this discussion chapter, it can be concluded to saying that this chapter emphasizes how crucial this research is to further our knowledge of the complex interactions among health awareness, and healthcare accessibility among older adults in the United Kingdom. Here mainly discuss what exactly find through this research.

This study offers sophisticated perspectives that are consistent with more general discussions in the field. The numerous ways that poverty affects health outcomes. This chapter mainly explores the various facets of healthcare accessibility, including preventive care costs, regional differences, the rise of “health data poverty,” and the importance of health literacy. These important results provide a crucial basis for future research opportunities, even though they acknowledge the limitations of the study.

Improvements to study designs, intersectionality considerations, and policy dynamics exploration are among the areas that have been identified. The study, despite its limitations, offers valuable perspectives on the difficulties associated with senior citizens’ access to healthcare, setting the stage for future research and focused public health initiatives.

The suggestions offer a path forward for improving the next research approaches and fortifying the body of evidence. The wider implications of this study for public health practice underscore the need for targeted interventions, deliberate resource allocation, digital inclusivity programs, and support for comprehensive policy approaches.

To put it simply, this research is essential to forming focused interventions, policies, and practices that tackle the various obstacles that the elderly population in the UK faces when trying to access healthcare services.

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