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Arch Fam Med. 2000 Mar;9(3):263-6.

Preventive services for rural and urban African American adults.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA.



Studies have shown that African Americans and rural patients receive fewer preventive services than other patients.


To compare the use of preventive services by African Americans in urban and rural settings to determine if race and rural residence were additive risks for not obtaining preventive services.


Three hundred African American patients seeking care in family practices in South Carolina were surveyed about preventive health care.


Rural and urban African Americans were equally likely to know about preventive services and be up-to-date on receiving these services. In both practices, those with lower incomes were less likely to be up-to-date. Patients seen in the urban setting were more likely to receive counseling regarding exercise and smoking than those in the rural practice (87% vs 71%, P = .003).


For both urban and rural African American patients with access to primary care physicians, preventive service use is high. The best predictor of poor compliance with preventive service recommendations was low income, suggesting that a lack of access to care is the primary reason why rural and African American populations do not receive adequate preventive health care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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