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Korean J Epidemiol. 1997 Dec;19(2):231-239. Korean. Original Article.
Kim SP , Kim HR , Choi BJ , Chun NM , Ko YG .
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan Universtiy, Korea.
International Health Services, Samsung Medical Center, Korea.
Center for Health Promotion and Sports Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Korea.
Department of NeuroPsychiatry, Samsung Medical Center, Korea.

The objective of this study is to identify any differences in disease status between foreign patients staying in Korea and Korean patients. The study results are : First, more foreign stayers than Korean in their 20's and 30's seek medical services but those after age of 60 show the opposite pattern. This difference seems to feflect cultural difference in the concept of medical services and health seeking behavior. Second, foreign pateints were much more frequently(almost threee times) diagnosed as having an acute disease, and the fact that the most common diseases were "diseases of the respiratory system" can suggest the seriousness of air pollution problem in Korea. And, the fact that foreign stayers, especially those from developed countries, tend to take more periodic general physical examina-tion indicated that their health maintenance efforts place emphasis on prevention. Foreign patients seek more medical services during the spring and summer time when compared to Korean patients, and Korean patients visited the clinic more frequently during the autum time. Also, the review of the number of outpatients seeking medical services and the average duration of outpatient follow-up mainten-ance after discharge suggest that foreigners suffer less severe diseases than Koreans do. Finally, in contrast to the usual practice of Koreans of coming to the center without prior calling for reservation, most foreign patients tend to make reservations before coming(usually a day before) in general. This is also reflective of cultural difference related to the way of utilizing medical services.

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