Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Robert H. Orr

Committee Members

Frank O. Leuthold, Charles Cleland


Three hundred and one individuals of Scott County, Tennessee were interviewed concerning their access to health care. By using utilization patterns, an estimate of access (as influenced by characteristics of the individual and the service) was obtained. Characteristics included: age, sex, presence of chronic illness, income, employment, education, cost, distance, and insurance coverage. Services which were studied were: total service usage, hospital, emergency room, general practitioner, and specialist. The greatest overall predictors of use of health care were presence of chronic illness and insurance coverage. Those individuals with a chronic illness and those with insurance coverage were among the most likely to utilize health care services. While not as strong an indicator across the service categories, age was also a determinant to amount of medical facility usage. Surprisingly, sex did not prove to be much of an indicator, except for total usage and general practitioner categories. Education proved to be significantly related to all service usage except for the emergency room. Distance was significant only in the case of general practitioner visits. Cost of service was significantly related to total service usage and general practitioner visits.

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