Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Does providing consumer health information affect self-reported medical utilization? Evidence from the Healthwise Communities Project.

Wagner TH, Hibbard JH, Greenlick MR, Kunkel L. Does providing consumer health information affect self-reported medical utilization? Evidence from the Healthwise Communities Project. Medical care. 2001 Aug 1; 39(8):836-47.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether providing health information to residents of Boise ID had an effect on their self-reported medical utilization. RESEARCH DESIGN: The Healthwise Communities Project (HCP) evaluation followed a quasi-experimental design. SUBJECTS: Random households in metropolitan zip codes were mailed questionnaires before and after the HCP. A total of 5,909 surveys were returned. MEASURES: The dependent variable was self-reported number of visits to the doctor in the past year. A difference-in-differences estimator was used to assess the intervention's community-level effect. We also assessed the intervention's effect on the variance of self-report utilization. RESULTS: Boise residents had a higher adjusted odds of entering care (OR = 1.27, 95% CI 0.88, 1.85) and 0.1 more doctor visits compared with residents in the control cities; however, for both outcomes, the effects were small and not significant. Although the means changed little, the data suggest that the variance of utilization in Boise decreased. CONCLUSIONS: The HCP had a small effect on overall self-reported utilization. Although the findings were not statistically significant, a posthoc power analysis revealed that the study was underpowered to detect effects of this magnitude. It may be possible to achieve larger effects by enrolling motivated people into a clinical trial. However, these data suggest that population-based efforts to provide health information have a small effect on self-reported utilization.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.