Uptake of Preventive Services Among Patients With and Without Multimorbidity

Published:September 22, 2020DOI:


      Patients with multiple chronic conditions (multimorbidity) are seen commonly in primary care practices and often have suboptimal uptake of preventive care owing to competing treatment demands. The complexity of multimorbidity patterns and their impact on receiving preventive services is not fully understood. This study identifies multimorbidity combinations associated with low receipt of preventive services.


      This was a retrospective cohort study of U.S. community health center patients aged ≥19 years. Electronic health record data from 209 community health centers for the January 1, 2014–December 31, 2017 study period were analyzed in 2018–2019. Multimorbidity patterns included physical only, mental health only, and physical and mental health multimorbidity patterns, with no multimorbidity as a reference category. Electronic health record–based preventive ratios (number of months services were up-to-date/total months the patient was eligible for services) were calculated for the 14 preventive services. Negative binomial regression models assessed the relationship between multimorbidity physical and/or mental health patterns and the preventive ratio for each service.


      There was a variation in receipt of preventive care between multimorbidity groups: individuals with mental health only multimorbidity were less likely to be up-to-date with cardiometabolic and cancer screenings than the no multimorbidity group or groups with physical health conditions, and the physical only multimorbidity group had low rates of depression screening.


      This study provided critical insights into receipt of preventive service among adults with multimorbidity using a more precise method for measuring up-to-date preventive care delivery. Findings would be useful to identify target populations for future intervention programs to improve preventive care.
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