Health status and health professional visits in a rural area

Health Serv Manage Res. 2000 May;13(2):127-32. doi: 10.1177/095148480001300207.


Visits to physicians (MDs), physician assistants (PAs) or nurse practitioners (NPs) by residents of a rural county in the upper-middle west of the United States were analysed in this study. A telephone survey yielded 250 responses. The dependent variable was the natural logarithm of the number of times the respondent had seen a health professional (MD, PA or NP) in the past two years. Predisposing, enabling and medical need variables were tested as potential predictors of visits. Self-rated health status, being unable to perform usual activities, and feeling upset or 'down in the dumps' proved to be important predictors, as was having a usual source of care. Health insurance coverage and family income was not, however. Unexpectedly, smokers also reported more visits. The implications for policy and future research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Iowa / epidemiology
  • Office Visits / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self-Assessment