Visits to the physician: an evaluation of the usual-source effect

Health Serv Res. 1985 Dec;20(5):579-96.


Having a regular or usual source for medical care has frequently been found to be an important correlate of ambulatory visits to the physician. However, it remains unclear whether having a usual source is a determinant of visits, a consequence of visits, or both. This article addresses the question, how do these alternative theoretical relationships affect estimates of the relative impact of having a usual source on illness-related visits? The empirical results of a household interview survey generally support the significance of a usual-source variable as a determinant of illness-related visits, but they indicate that use of a single equation-estimation technique may overestimate the magnitude of this effect.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Office Visits / statistics & numerical data*