Journal of Public Health

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 137–144 | Cite as

The use of routine health check-ups and psychological factors—a neglected link. Evidence from a population-based study

  • André Hajek
  • Jens-Oliver Bock
  • Hans-Helmut König
Original Article



It is well known that the use of routine health check-ups is associated with socio-demographic and lifestyle factors. However, the link between psychological factors and the use of routine health check-ups has not been investigated intensively so far. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to determine the psychological factors associated with routine health check-ups.

Subjects and methods

Cross-sectional data were obtained from a population-based study (German Aging Survey) of individuals ≥40 years of age and residing in private households in Germany in the year 2014 (n = 7708). Screening data and data on psychological factors were collected in self-administered questionnaires. Multiple logistic regressions were used to identify psychological correlates of screening behavior, adjusted for socio-demographic, lifestyle and health-related variables.


Of the participants, 65.4% used routine health check-ups regularly. After adjusting for various potential confounders, multiple logistic regressions showed that the use of routine health check-ups was positively associated with life satisfaction, positive affect, optimism, self-efficacy, self-esteem and self-regulation, whereas the outcome measure was not significantly associated with loneliness, negative affect and perceived stress. Furthermore, the outcome measure was positively associated with age, being married and living together with a spouse or partner, body mass index, being a non-daily smoker, drinking alcohol less than once a day and exercising. However, it was not associated with gender, income, number of physical illnesses or region.


The current study stresses the importance of the association between screening behavior and psychological factors. This may help to identify individuals at risk for underuse.


Routine health check-ups General medical examination Preventive health examination Psychological factors 


Compliance with ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Please note that an ethical statement for the DEAS study was not necessary because criteria for the need of an ethical statement were not met (risk for the respondents, lack of information about the aims of the study, examination of patients).

Informed consent

Prior to the interview, written informed consent was given by all study participants.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10389_2017_840_MOESM1_ESM.doc (213 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 213 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017
corrected publication January/2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Economics and Health Services Research, Hamburg Center for Health EconomicsUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany

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