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January 17, 1972

The Health Team Model and Medical Care UtilizationEffect on Patient Behavior of Providing Comprehensive Family Health Services

JAMA. 1972;219(3):359-366. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190290051016

The research hypothesis that the organizational structure of a health delivery system can significantly alter the pattern of medical care behavior of its patient population was tested. The utilization patterns of 31 multiproblem families were studied for 30 continuous months of comprehensive care provided by a family-oriented health care team (physicians, nurse, health aide, and social worker), with continuity, coordination, and constant availability of care. The findings demonstrated a change from an illness response pattern to a healthorientation response pattern. There was an increasing use of health care services such as nurse counseling, psychosocial guidance, employment assistance, health education, marriage counseling, and rehabilitation, and a decreasing use of physician services for illness care. The changing pattern of medical care behavior of these families created an effective utilization of allied health personnel, with physiciansparing results.