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J Prim Prev. 2009 Sep;30(5):531-47. doi: 10.1007/s10935-009-0190-z. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

Psychological distress as a barrier to preventive healthcare among U.S. women.

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Department of Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Office 503, Madison, WI 53726, USA.


To examine the role of psychological distress in accessing routine periodic health examinations among U.S. women of reproductive age, we examined data on 9,166 women aged 18-49 years from the 1998 National Health Interview Survey. In multivariate regression, women with psychological distress were more likely than non-distressed women to report delayed routine care, not having insurance, and lack of a usual source of care. Among women without a usual source of care, distressed women were more than six and one-half times more likely to delay care compared with non-distressed women. Women with psychological distress report delays in receiving routine care. EDITORS' STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS: The findings suggest that, for distressed women in particular, continuity of care is vital in accessing routine care and obtaining timely and effective preventive services.

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