In recent years, the government has paid more attention to the development of community health service (CHS) in urban areas in China. Therefore, determining if it plays important roles and establishing methods to evaluate the effects of CHS are critical emphases in research. This study measured the effects of CHS through the choices of patients and their evaluation of CHS, and aimed to contribute to the development of primary health services. Face-to-face interviews were performed using the questionnaire with a random sample of 865 patients in CHS institutions from five provinces in China. Pearson's Chi square tests and binary logistic regression were used to analyze influencing factors that are associated with the patients' choices and evaluations. A total of 62.2 % of the patients would choose CHS for their first treatment. Patient choice was mainly affected by the following: (1) social demographic factors of the patients, namely, age, educational level, medical insurance, and survey areas; (2) evaluation of CHS by the patients: convenience, reasonable charges, and attitude of the doctors. In addition, the patients showed more satisfaction with convenience, waiting time, and communication with doctors, and less satisfaction with the medical charges, drug costs, and medical equipment of CHS. Through the results, we suggest that the government should provide more regard to the convenience, reasonable charges, and the attitude of the doctors as important factors to attract the patients to CHS. The government should also exert efforts to reduce the medical charges (especially the drug costs) for CHS.