Morbidity and temporary cycles for the outpatient service at Universidad Estatal a Distancia in Costa Rica

  • Lourdes Arce Espinoza Universidad Estatal a Distancia, Costa Rica, Costa Rica
  • Julián Monge Nájera Universidad Estatal a Distancia, Vicerrectoría Investigación, Costa Rica
Keywords: Morbidity, outpatient service, distance education, university faculty and staff, Costa Rica


No data has apparently been published on morbidity and outpatient service of faculty and staff of a distance university.  This report presents such data from the Universidad Estatal a Distancia (Costa Rican State University for Distance Education). The participants in this study were the employees who were outpatients between January 15, 2004 and December 15, 2006.  Instead of using a sample, the entire population was studied with a total of 1,526 medical records. Procedure: During the first stage all of the medical records were read and the morbidity data was tabulated.  Subsequently, this information was statistically analyzed using Statgraphics Centurion XV. The main findings were that 50% of the patients used the outpatient service only once during the study period and that most of them were between 20 and 50 years of age.  The days with the most consultations were Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.  The number of consultations was relatively stable throughout the year, with a slight increase in June. The three main causes for visiting the service were: upper respiratory tract diseases, muscular-skeletal disorders, and irritated digestive system problems. Main conclusions: Most of the consultations were from the departments with the more faculty and staff members; however, some departments had extremely high or low consultation rates per capita, maybe due to factors such as pathologies that require periodic control, geographical proximity, and psycho-social issues of patients who create a vicious circle due to the somatization of such problems.  The hypothesis that this population’s morbidity rate would differ from the national average because of its high educational level was rejected.  Nevertheless, the hypothesis that there are weekly and yearly cycles was maintained.

Author Biographies

Lourdes Arce Espinoza, Universidad Estatal a Distancia, Costa Rica

Enfermera, Servicios Médicos

Julián Monge Nájera, Universidad Estatal a Distancia, Vicerrectoría Investigación



Bonner, A., Macculloch, P., Gardner, T., & Chase, C. W. (2007). A student-led demonstration project on fall prevention in a long-term care facility. Geriatric Nursing, 28, 312-318.

Bravo, J. y Vargas, N. (1991). Tendencias y fluctuaciones de la morbilidad y la mortalidad por ciertas causas y la actividad económica; Costa Rica, Chile y Guatemala, 1960-1986. Notas de Población Chile, 19, 117-146.

Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. (2002). Modernización: Comunicación para un mejor cambio. Boletín Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. San José, Costa Rica.

Chen, R. S., & Tsai, C. C. (2007). Gender differences in Taiwan university students attitudes toward web-based learning. Cyberpsychologic and Behavior, 10, 645-654.

Magid, J. D., Yongfei, W., Herrin, J., McNamara, L. R., Bradley, H. E., Curtis, P. J., Pollack, V. C., French, J. W., Blaney, E. M., & Krumholz, M. H. (2005). Relationship between time of day, day of week, timeliness of reperfusion, and in- hospital mortality for patients with acute ST-Segment elevation myocardial infarction. Journal of the American Medical Association, 294, 803-812.

Morgan, L. (1988). Salud sin riqueza: el sistema de salud en Costa Rica bajo la crisis económica. Revista Centroamericana de Administración Pública, 12, 25-27.

Moya, L. (2003). Cambios en la morbilidad y mortalidad por edad y sexo, Costa Rica, 1987,

, 1997 y 2002. Sección de Información Biomédica, Caja Costarricense de

Seguro Social, San José, Costa Rica.

Seretakis, D., Lagiou, P., Lipworth, L., Signorello, L. B., Rothman, K. J., y Trichopoulos, D. (1997). Changing seasonality of mortality from coronary heart disease. Journal of the American Medical Association, 278, 1012-1014.

How to Cite
Arce Espinoza, L., & Monge Nájera, J. (2008). Morbidity and temporary cycles for the outpatient service at Universidad Estatal a Distancia in Costa Rica. MHSalud: Revista En Ciencias Del Movimiento Humano Y Salud, 5(1).
Scientific Articles

Comentarios (ver términos de uso)