The concept and measurement of continuity in primary care

Am J Public Health. 1980 Feb;70(2):122-7. doi: 10.2105/ajph.70.2.122.


Continuity of care, a stated fundamental principle of family medicine, is reviewed in terms of its philosophy and definitions. A model of continuity in primary medical practice is proposed, consisting of five elements: the provider, consumer, encounter type, knowledge base, and environment of continuity. The elements are measurable, some more easily than others. There is need to define and operationalize the model more accurately in order to evaluate continuity in primary care medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Compliance
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians, Family*
  • Primary Health Care*
  • United States