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Mayo Clin Proc. 1997 Jun;72(6):515-23.

Delivery rates for preventive services in 44 midwestern clinics.

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Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Erratum in

  • Mayo Clin Proc 1997 Jul;72(7):692.



To determine the rates at which private primary-care clinics are recommending blood pressure and cholesterol measurement, smoking cessation, clinical breast examination, screening mammography, Papanicolaou testing, and influenza and pneumococcus immunizations.


We conducted a mail survey of 7,997 randomly selected patients from 44 primary-care clinics in and around Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, of whom 6,830 (85.4%) completed the questionnaire on preventive services delivery rates. The responses were analyzed statistically, including stratification by reason for the clinic visit.


On the average, about two-thirds of the patients in each clinic reported being up-to-date on preventive services before their clinic visit; an exception was pneumococcus immunization (mean rate, 33%). Except for blood pressure and smoking cessation advice, less than 30% of patients who were not up-to-date on a preventive service were offered it if the clinic visit was for a reason other than a checkup or physical examination. For patients who said that they saw their physician for a checkup or physical examination, the rate was more than 50% only for Papanicolaou smear. In contrast, nearly all responding practitioners agreed that each of the eight preventive services was very important or important.


Preventive services consensus goals are not being met, even for patients who report that their clinic visit was for a checkup or physical examination. This finding suggests that it may be necessary to develop clinical systems that support and enable the delivery of preventive services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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