Skip to main content

Table 1 Variable definition

From: Selection of private or public hospital care: examining the care-seeking behaviour of patients with private health insurance

VariableVariable typeMeasurement
Independent variables (Logistic regression)
For respondents with PHI: Hospital admission typeBinary1 if a public patient in a public hospital and 0 otherwise
For respondents with PHI: Who had an overnight hospital stayBinarySelected to be a public patient (treated as a patient without PHI) in a public hospital was coded as 1 and 0 otherwise (private patient in a public hospital or private patient in a public hospital).
Other explanatory variables
Number of doctor visits
Number of hospital admissions
Number of nights per hospital admission
ContinuousPositive values from 0 to upwards.
Whether during the last 12 months, respondents had:
Visited a hospital doctor
Visited a specialist doctor
Visited a mental health professional
Health check-ups or screening
BinaryYes = 1
No = 0
Household annual expenditure on pharmaceuticals
Fees paid to health practitioners
ContinuousPositive values from 0 to upwards.
Household disposable income (DY)OrdinalFour categories: Low income is DY<$63,746, lower middle income is DY = $63,746 to $100,757, higher middle income is $100,758 to $144,848 and high income is DY>$144,849.
Calculated based on the income level of the respondents of the respective waves.
AgeOrdinalThree categories: age < 45; age 45–65; age > 65.
Education levelBinaryTwo categories: > High school; ≤ High school.
Body Mass Index (BMI)OrdinalFour categories based on the respondents BMI:
BMI = < 18.5; BMI 18.6–24.9; BMI 25–29.9 BMI= >  30.
Self-assessed healthScaleFive categories (excellent, very good, good, fair and poor) using scale 1–5.
Prevalence of long-term health conditionsBinaryYes = 1
No = 0
Marital statusBinaryTwo categories: Currently married = 1 and all other situation = 0.
Mental health statusScaleKessler psychological distress scale (low, moderate, high and very high) using values 1–4.
Physical activityOrdinalThree categories: less than once a week, 1–3 times a week, more than three times per week.
Smoking status
(Smokes cigarettes or other tobacco products)
OrdinalThree categories: non-smoker = I have never or no longer smoke; regular smoker = Yes, I smoke; occasional smoker = all other answers.
Health shocks
(Serious personal illness in the last 12 months)
BinaryYes = 1
No = 0
Financial distress
(Major worsening of finances)
BinaryYes = 1
No = 0
Financial risk-taking attitudeOrdinalThree categories: never takes risk, takes average risks and takes sizeable risks.
RemotenessBinaryTwo categories:
Urban and rural.
Using ‘ASGC 2001 Section of State’ variable in the HILDA data as suggested by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Full time studentsBinaryYes = 1
No = 0