Chronic illness positively linked to receipt of preventive care
(HealthDay)—Patients with one or more chronic illnesses are not less likely to receive recommended preventive health services, according to a study published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.
Steven M. Ornstein, M.D., of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study using data from the electronic health records of 667,379 active patients aged 18 years or older enrolled in 148 member practices in a national practice-based research network. The authors sought to examine the association between number of chronic conditions and receipt of preventive health services.
The researchers found that 65.4 percent of patients had at least one of 24 chronic illnesses. For nine of the 10 preventive health services that were reviewed, patients with chronic illness were more likely to be up to date than patients with no chronic illness. This positive association remained even after adjusting for patient age and visit frequency. For five of the 10 preventive services, the likelihood of receipt increased with increasing number of chronic illnesses.
"Rather than a barrier, the presence of chronic illness was positively associated with receipt of recommended preventive services in this large national practice-based research network," the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to McKesson, a vendor for electronic medical records that collaborates with the research network used to conduct this study.