Health Care Utilization and History of Trauma Among Women in a Primary Care Setting

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Participants were 150 women seen consecutively by a female family physician in an HMO setting for nonemergent medical care. Each participant completed a questionnaire that explored three areas of trauma. Twelve months after the administration of the questionnaire, medical records of each participant were reviewed for several measures of health care utilization (i.e., number of telephone contacts, physician visits, ongoing prescriptions, acute prescriptions, specialist referrals). Age, education, and current marital status were unrelated to medical utilization. Participants' acknowledged history of physical and emotional abuse significantly correlated with most measures of health care utilization, whereas sexual abuse generally did not. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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