Self-reported utilization of preventive health services by retired employees age 65 and older

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2001 Dec;49(12):1665-72.


Objectives: Increased utilization of preventive services among the aging has been associated with improved health status and decreased medical costs. We sought to examine the use of the Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) in benchmarking compliance and characterizing those retired employees who met preventive service guidelines.

Design: A retrospective cohort study of retired employees age 65 and older.

Setting: Nation-wide health promotion program offered by General Motors Corporation.

Participants: 59,670 retired General Motors employees age 65 and older who participated in a nationwide mailed HRA health promotion program.

Measurements: Preventive health services compliance was measured using selected HRA questions. Gender, HRA participation patterns, overall health risk status, medical plan selection and disease status were examined as predictors of increased compliance. Multivariate logistic regression models were developed to test the relative contributions of participant characteristics to increased utilization.

Results: The self-reported HRA data indicated that compliance levels were higher than national averages. The Healthy People 2000 goals for the preventive services studied were met and exceeded (with the exception of tetanus immunization). Higher compliance was associated with being male, younger than 70 years, multiple-year HRA participation, overall low risk status and HMO insurance plan selection.

Conclusion: The results from the HRA indicated that this population participated at a higher level than a comparable national sample exceeding goals set by Healthy People 2000.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Participation*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Preventive Health Services*
  • Regression, Psychology
  • Retirement*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors