Are Physicians Sensitive to the Special Problems of Older Patients?

Stephen E. Radecki, Robert L. Kane, David H. Solomon, Robert C. Mendenhall, John C. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The sensitivity of primary care physicians to the health care needs of older patients was explored by means of an analysis of the use of diagnostic tests and therapeutic procedures during ambulatory visits. Survey data on a total of 28,265 visits to internists, family and general practitioners were examined to determine possible age‐related differences in care. The study found that diagnostic testing falls off significantly for patients 75 years of age or older and that internists use substantially more tests for each age group than do family and general practitioners. The pattern of use of diagnostic tests in this secondary analysis does not address the issue of “appropriateness” but does suggest a pattern that makes little sense based on the known distribution of disease and functional disability in aging populations. 1988 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-725
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1988


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