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Arch Fam Med. 1997 May-Jun;6(3):223-30.

Periodic health examinations and the provision of cancer prevention services.

Author information

  • 1Department of Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To learn about cancer prevention services in primary care practices and to understand physician factors that affect the provision of these services.

DESIGN:

Survey of physicians and their patients in 1992.

SETTING:

Cooperating physicians (n = 72) of a random selection of community general internist and family physician practices in New Hampshire and Vermont.

PATIENTS:

Patients (n = 2775) of the study physicians for at least 1 year, aged 42 years or older, with no life-threatening threatening illness, who recently visited the physician.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Proportion of sample patients per practice provided age- and sex-appropriate cancer prevention services in the previous year.

RESULTS:

In this primary care population, a high proportion of patients received appropriate services in 1992. A periodic health examination within the past year was an important predictor for the receipt of many cancer prevention services. Female physicians provided more periodic health examinations than male physicians; internists provided more than family physicians.

CONCLUSIONS:

The strongest determinant of receiving preventive services is having a periodic health examination. If clinicians and policymakers decrease emphasis on the periodic health examination as a major opportunity to provide indicated preventive services, they should ensure that a satisfactory alternative strategy is in place.

PMID:
9161346
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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