, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 118-126

A comparison of health care utilization by husbands and wives

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A chart review of married couples seen in family practice compared husband-wife visit rates. Wives were found to utilize services significantly more often: for all visits, for all visits excluding those related to pregnancy, for well-care visits, for psychological support visits, and for somatic illness visits (including sex-related illnesses), but not for non-sex-related somatic illness visits. There was no significant correlation in visit-rate frequencies within husband-wife pairs.

The authors are with the Division of Primary Medical Care, Departments of Community Medicine and Medicine, University of California, San Diego, and School of Medicine at La Jolla, California 92037. The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of Drs. Sam Smith, Thomas Early, and Simon Brumbaugh in this study.