ERIC Number: EJ856507
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners as a Usual Source of Care
Everett, Christine M.; Schumacher, Jessica R.; Wright, Alexandra; Smith, Maureen A.
Journal of Rural Health, v25 n4 p407-414 Fall 2009
Purpose: To identify characteristics and outcomes of patients who use physician assistants and nurse practitioners (PA/NPs) as a usual source of care. Methods: Cross sectional analysis using the telephone and mail surveys of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS), a prospective cohort study of Wisconsin high school graduates and selected siblings (n = 6,803). Findings: Individuals from metropolitan (OR = 0.40, 95% CI = 0.29-0.54) and micropolitan (OR = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.44-0.95) areas were less likely to utilize PA/NPs than participants from rural locations. Participants without insurance or with public insurance other than Medicare were more likely than those with private insurance to utilize PA/NPs (OR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.02-2.86). Patients of PA/NPs were more likely to be women (OR = 1.77, 95% CI = 1.34-2.34), younger (OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.92-0.98) and have lower extroversion scores (OR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.68-0.96). Participants utilizing PA/NPs reported lower perceived access ([beta]=-0.22, 95% CI =-0.35-0.09) than those utilizing doctors. PA/NP utilization was associated with an increased likelihood of chiropractor visits (OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.15-2.15) and decreased likelihood of a complete health exams (OR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.55-0.99) or mammograms (OR = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.45-0.93). There were no significant differences in self-rated health or difficulties/delays in receiving care. Conclusions: Populations served by PA/NPs and doctors differ demographically but not in complexity. Though perceived access to care was lower for patients of PA/NPs, there were few differences in utilization and no differences in difficulties/delays in care or outcomes. This suggests that PA/NPs are acting as primary care providers to underserved patients with a range of disease severity, findings which have important implications for policy, including clinician workforce and reimbursement issues.
Descriptors: Siblings, Allied Health Occupations, Physicians, Nurses, Health Insurance, High School Graduates, Mail Surveys, Patients, Metropolitan Areas, Longitudinal Studies, Case Studies, Scores, Extraversion Introversion, Diagnostic Tests, Access to Health Care, Urban Areas, Age Differences, Gender Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin