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Ann Emerg Med. 1995 Nov;26(5):615-20.

Need and desire for preventive care measures in emergency department patients.

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UCLA School of Medicine, USA.



To determine the need and desire for selected preventive care measures in an adult emergency department population, comparing patients with and without primary physicians.


Written survey.


Urban university ED.


English-speaking patients 18 years of age or older who did not arrive by ambulance, did not have a critical illness, and did not have a psychiatric complaint.


The main outcome measures were past preventive care and desire to initiate preventive care measures as part of ED care. Nine hundred fifty-three surveys were distributed; 647 were completed and returned. Twenty-seven percent of patients knew their cholesterol level. Forty-three percent of men aged 40 years or older reported having had a prostate examination in the past year, and 39% of men aged 50 years or older reported having had an examination of stool for blood in the past year. Twenty-one percent of women reported taking calcium, and 67% of women aged 40 years or older had had a mammogram in the past 2 years. Sixty-three percent of patients had a primary physician; these patients were more likely to have received each of the preventive care measures studied (P < .025). Fifty-three percent of women not taking calcium requested information about osteoporosis prevention, and 30% requested prescriptions for calcium supplements. Sixty-two percent of women who did not have a current mammogram requested mammography information, and 60% requested referrals for mammography. Fifty-four percent of patients requested cholesterol and diet information. Patients requesting information, referrals, and prescriptions were given them.


In a selected ED population, there was both need and desire for preventive health care measures to be initiated or provided as part of ED care, especially among patients who did not have primary physicians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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