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The Effect of Psychological Distress on Physician Utilization: A Prospective Study
Richard Tessler, David Mechanic and Margaret Dimond
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 17, No. 4 (Dec., 1976), pp. 353-364
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2136713
Page Count: 12
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This paper examines the hypothesis that psychological distress is causally related to physician utilization among enrollees in a prepaid group practice. Measures of distress are constructed from questions included in a survey interview, while the utilization data come from medical records. Distress levels were measured prior to the period of utilization studied. The results show a positive relationship between distress and physician utilization, which persists even when a variety of sociodemographic, attitudinal, and health status variables have been controlled. The results are discussed in terms of a perspective that emphasizes social-psychological needs as triggers for physician utilization.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior © 1976 American Sociological Association