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Choice of Medical Care: A Behavioral Model of Health and Illness Behavior

James G. Anderson and David E. Bartkus
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 14, No. 4 (Dec., 1973), pp. 348-362
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2136779
Page Count: 15
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Choice of Medical Care: A Behavioral Model of Health and Illness Behavior
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Abstract

In this paper a behavioral model consisting of sociodemographic, economic, ecological, need, and social psychological variables is developed and used to account for differential patterns of health and illness behavior among members of a prepaid medical group. Data from a sample of students who were enrolled in a university health plan were used to estimate parameters of structural equation models for males and females. The model suggests that social-psychological factors, such as symptom sensitivity and students' appraisal of the services provided, affect the extent to which they seek outside medical care. While medical need and insurance coverage both directly affect the choice of health services, sociodemographic and ecological factors appear largely to affect utilization indirectly through their effect on intervening social-psychological variables.

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