National Cancer Institute Home at the National Institutes of Health |
Please wait while this form is being loaded....
The Applied Research Program Web site is no longer maintained. ARP's former staff have moved to the new Healthcare Delivery Research Program, the Behavioral Research Program, or the Epidemiology & Genetics Research Program, and the content from this Web site is being moved to one of those sites as appropriate. Please update your links and bookmarks!

Publication Abstract

Authors: Fenton JJ, Franks P, Reid RJ, Elmore JG, Baldwin LM

Title: Continuity of care and cancer screening among health plan enrollees.

Journal: Med Care 46(1):58-62

Date: 2008 Jan

Abstract: CONTEXT: Although having a usual source of care has been associated with cancer screening, whether there is additional benefit from continuity with a specific physician is uncertain. In addition, little is known about the relationship between continuity of care and receipt of colorectal and prostate cancer screening. METHODS: Subjects were enrolled in a Washington State health plan that operates an integrated delivery system that emphasizes access to primary care. Among patients age 50-78 years old with 2 or more primary care visits in 2002-2003 (N = 67,633), we determined whether higher continuity (>/=50% of visits with the most visited primary care provider) was associated with colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer screening. Random-effects logistic regression estimated adjusted percentages of patients who received fecal occult blood testing, lower endoscopy (sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy), screening mammography, and prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing. RESULTS: Patients with higher continuity were more likely to receive fecal occult blood testing than patients with lower continuity (28.9% vs. 26.8%; P < 0.001) but less likely to receive lower endoscopy (12.9% vs. 14.3%; P < 0.001). Although higher continuity was not significantly associated with screening mammography (P = 0.38), men with higher continuity were more likely to receive PSA testing than men with lower continuity (39.4% vs. 37.4%; P = 0.008). CONCLUSIONS: In an insured population with a high degree of primary care access, continuity with a specific primary care physician was associated with the selection of less invasive colorectal cancer screening tests by patients and physicians and greater likelihood of PSA testing.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013