Primary care and receipt of preventive services

J Gen Intern Med. 1996 May;11(5):269-76. doi: 10.1007/BF02598266.


Objective: To examine whether health insurance, a regular place of care, and optimal primary care are independently associated with receiving preventive care services.

Design: A cross-sectional telephone survey.

Setting: Population based.

Participants: Probability sample of 3,846 English-speaking and Spanish-speaking women between the ages of 18 and 64 in urban California.

Interventions: Women were asked about their demographic characteristics, financial status, health insurance status, need for ongoing care, regular place of care, and receipt of blood pressure screening, clinical breast examinations, mammograms, and Pap smears. Women who reported a regular place of care were asked about four components of primary care: availability, continuity, comprehensiveness, and communication.

Measurements and main results: In multivariate analyses that controlled for differences in demographics, financial status, and need for ongoing care, having a regular place of care was the most important factor associated with receiving preventive care services (p < .0001). Having health insurance (p < .001) and receiving optimal primary care from the regular place of care (p < .01) further significantly increased the likelihood of receiving preventive care services.

Conclusion: A regular source of care is the single most important factor associated with the receipt of preventive services, but optimal primary care from a regular place increases the likelihood that women will receive preventive care.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • California
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Preventive Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Random Allocation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population