The health status of veterans using mobile clinics in rural areas

Nelda P. Wray, Thomas W. Weiss, Carol E. Christian, Terri Menke, Carol M. Ashton, John C. Hollingsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Between 1992 and 1994, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) experimented with mobile clinics to provide health care for rural veterans. The objective was to assess the health status of rural mobile clinics' patients and compare this with patients receiving care in VA hospital-based clinics. This study hypothesized that hospital-based clinic patients would be more ill (i.e., have a greater reduction in health status). The Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) Short Form was used to evaluate patients' health status. Most patients sought care for the management of chronic disease. Patients in both groups had similar types of diseases. Mobile clinic patients were as ill as hospital-based patients (i.e., similar health status scores). This study shows that rural veterans have a case mix and a reduction in health status similar to that of VA hospital-based patients. Planners should account for this health reduction when planning the kinds of facilities and services needed in rural areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-348
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1999


  • Chronic disease
  • Health status
  • MOS Short Form
  • Rural health
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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