Selection of key community descriptors for community-orientated primary care

Stephen J. Zyzanski, Robert L. Williams, Susan A. Flocke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background. Community-oriented primary care (COPC) requires the development of practical tools if it is to be carried out. A previous study demonstrated a practical approach to carrying out one portion of a community assessment for COPC using a few representative health indicators. Objective. To determine the validity of this process elsewhere, we tested whether these findings were generalizable to other settings and to the same setting a decade later. Method. In a cross-sectional study design, data on 18 health indicators were collected for census tracts in two target areas and for the entire state of Ohio, USA, for 1990. A factor analysis was performed to identify factors underlying the health indicators in the three areas examined. Results. Two underlying factors, termed age and poverty, were present in all locations and over time. Each factor was defined by core indicators and a cluster of associated indicators. Conclusions. These results suggest that one part of a COPC community assessment can be done by selecting very few indicators. The distribution of indicators of age and income explains the variability of most of the health related indicators studied. These factors are stable over time and location. A community assessment should include indicators which, at a minimum, provide information on these two factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-288
Number of pages9
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Community health services
  • Factor analysis
  • Primary health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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