HEALTH CARE UTILIZATION AND RECURRENCE OF ABDOMINAL PAIN

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Abdominal pain is one of the most common reasons for visiting a physician.
Abdominal pain is a significant problem in the general population, with 20-
25% of apparently healthy individuals experiencing six or more episodes of
abdominal pain per year. Only 20-25% of these individuals seek medical
attention for these episodes. Although abdominal pain is a common
complaint, little is known about it as a reason for visit. The proposed study will begin to close this gap in our knowledge by: 1)
providing descriptive information on the natural history of the symptom of
abdominal pain; 2) assessing factors associated with the recurrence and
resolution of abdominal pain; 3) assessing the factors associated with
seeking medical care for this problem; and 4) describing the health
utilization patterns of those individuals with abdominal pain. A longitudinal, prospective design will be used to address the study
questions. A group of 625 individuals will be selected at random from the
rosters of a large Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). An initial face-
to-face interview will measure psychological distress, social support, and
characterize the subject's abdominal pain. Demographic data will also be
collected. The subjects will be abdominal pain. Demographic data will
also be collected. The subjects will be followed every two months via
telephone for one year. A health diary will also be utilized to enhance
the capture of pertinent data relating to occurrence of abdominal pain.
Medical encounter data will be collected for both the preceding year and
the year of follow-up. The proposed study will enhance our knowledge of the natural history of a
very common complaint, abdominal pain. A better understanding of the
predictors of recurrence and resolution of abdominal pain will lead to more
efficient and cost-effective ways of dealing with this common problem. The
factors associated with health seeking behavior for abdominal pain will
also be clarified.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date5/1/904/30/94

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health

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