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J Gen Intern Med. 1991 Jul-Aug;6(4):335-40.

Factors associated with the frequency of house calls by primary care physicians.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond.



To evaluate factors associated with the frequency of house calls by primary care physicians.


A cross-sectional design with a self-administered mailed survey. SITTING/PARTICIPANTS: 751 primary care physicians who care for Medicaid patients in Virginia.


Among 389 physician respondents (52%), regular house callers (n = 216) were compared with occasional house callers (n = 162). Among physician characteristics, specialty and practice duration were associated with house call frequency. Regular house callers also more often cited chronic illness (67% vs. 20%, p less than 0.01) and terminal illness (67% vs. 40%, p less than 0.01) as indications for house calls, compared with occasional house callers. Use of visiting nurses to substitute for physician house calls was less often considered appropriate by frequent house callers (7% vs. 24%, p less than 0.01), and regular house callers were less likely to report being "too busy" to make house calls (71% vs. 29%, p less than 0.01). Multivariate analysis confirmed the association of these attitudes with house call frequency.


These data suggest that specific attitudes among primary care physicians are associated with house call frequency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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