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Goes to same place for routine care as for sick care

Codes and Frequencies

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ROUTCARE indicates whether the place sample adults and sample children usually went for routine or preventive care was the same place they usually went to when sick or when they needed advice about their health (see also USUALPL). As examples of routine care, the question for sample adults mentioned "a physical examination or checkup"; the question for sample children mentioned "a physical examination or well baby/child check-ups."

The Field Representative's Manual defined "routine or preventive care" as "a health procedure or series of health procedures done to help a person avoid illness or to detect problems early" (for 1997) or as "a doctor visit or health procedure to prevent illness or to detect problems early, such as immunization or a physical exam" (for 1998 forward).

The Manual consistently defined "a general physical exam or check-up" as "an examination not for a specific condition or problem. This may include the following: a periodic health examination, a complete medical examination, an annual health check-up or a comprehensive physical examination. It does NOT include dental exams and vision tests." These definitions were not routinely shared with respondents.


Changes to the universe affect the comparability of this variable over time; please see the Universe Tab for detailed descriptions of who is in universe for this variable in each sample.


  • 1988: Sample persons under age 18 who have a usual place for sick care.
  • 1993: Persons under age 18 in quarters 3 and 4 who see a particular person when they go to their usual place/place gone to most often for medical care and do not see/don't know if see that person for routine medical care OR who do not see/don't know if see a particular person at usual place/place gone to most often for medical care.
  • 1994-1996: Persons under age 18 who have a usual person or place for medical care OR have a place they go to most often.
  • 1997-2018: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children under age 18 who had a usual place or places to go when sick and who identified the type of place (as a clinic or health center, doctor's office or HMO, hospital emergency room, hospital outpatient department, or some other place).


  • 1988, 1993-2018