A statewide preventive health care program for the aged.
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A statewide preventive health care program for the aged.

Filetype[PDF-1.21 MB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      Because of the rising percentage of elderly in the population and the cost of health care expenditures, interest has increased in preventive health care services for the aging. Although the effectiveness of such programs is still being discussed by policy makers, the number of preventive health programs for the elderly is increasing. One of the oldest and largest preventive health programs for the elderly in the United States, the California Preventive Health Care for the Aging Program (PHCAP) is analyzed. The typical PHCAP participant was white, female, between 70 and 79 years of age, and living in an urban area. More than half (59 percent) of the PHCAP participants had some kind of private medical insurance in addition to Medicare coverage. Seventy-seven percent of the participants had seen a physician within the previous year. The most frequently reported chronic conditions were arthritis (31 percent), hypertension (24 percent), cardiovascular problems (13 percent), and vision and hearing problems (18 and 11 percent). Twenty-seven percent of the population were hypertensive; 7 percent of these had moderate to severe hypertension. Eighty percent of the participants were identified as having at least one problem; 40 percent were referred to a physician. Frequently, public health programs need to be evaluated without the benefit of a controlled trial design. This analysis of a statewide preventive health care program for the aging, PHCAP, shows the program's effectiveness in detecting a large number of health problems and making extensive referrals to other health professionals, particularly physicians. These findings should be useful to health practitioners and policy makers developing similar statewide programs for the elderly.
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