Health and Medical Care Archive

This study is maintained and distributed by the Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA). HMCA is the official data archive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Prescription for Health Evaluation: Practice Information Form Data, 2005-2007 [United States] (ICPSR 27041)

Principal Investigator(s): Cohen, Deborah J., University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Robert Wood Johnson Medical School


Prescription for Health was an initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Under this initiative, primary care practice-based research networks (PBRNs) -- groups of ambulatory practices devoted principally to the primary care of patients -- developed, tested, and evaluated innovative strategies to improve the delivery and effectiveness of health behavior change services in primary care practice. The strategies targeted four health risk behaviors: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and risky alcohol use. Prescription for Health was conducted in two rounds. Round one awarded grants to 17 PBRNs to test the feasibility of implementing the strategies, while round two awarded grants to ten PBRNs to measure the strategies' effectiveness and the expenses associated with them. More than a 100 primary care practices from the ten PBRNs participated in the evaluation.

This data collection comprises the data from one of the data collection efforts carried out by the second round: the responses to the Practice Information Form (PIF), a Web-based instrument which captured key organizational attributes of the participating practices. The PIF data were collected at two time points. Baseline data were collected from each practice before the intervention was implemented and follow-up data were collected approximately one year after the start of the intervention.

Information about the practices collected by the PIF include practice type and ownership; characteristics of each clinician and non-clinician staff person; number of vacancies for clinicians and non clinicians; number of exam rooms and volume of office visits; average number of new patients per month; percentages of patients in various age, race, Hispanic origin, and payer categories; and the predominant type of payment arrangement with health plans. In addition, the PIF asked whether a specific health plan controlled over half of the practice's total business; whether the practice had a pay-for-performance program; whether any payers or organizations publicly reported practice level performance information, such as patient satisfaction, chronic care/disease management, and/or preventive service delivery; and whether practices had a formal process for routinely measuring satisfaction among patients, clinicians, and other staff. The PIF also investigated how practices motivated their clinicians and staff; the level of competition among practices in local markets; the use of computers, electronic medical record systems, and patient registries; major changes that affected each practice's ability to make improvements in patient care; factors that prevented practices from translating the results of research into changes in medical practice; and the use of health risk assessment protocols or questionnaires to identify patients who may benefit from counseling or interventions. Questions about the four Prescription for Health behaviors -- physical activity, healthy eating, smoking cessation, and addressing risky drinking -- asked how practices linked patients to outside resources for each of the four behaviors; how practices used evidence-based guidelines and informed patients about recommendations for the behaviors; and which approaches practices used to support patients ready to engage in a behavior change for each of the behaviors.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    The data files are restricted from general dissemination for reasons of confidentiality. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to these data through the ICPSR restricted data contract portal, which can be accessed via the study home page.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Baseline Data
No downloadable data files available.
DS2:  Follow-up Data
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description


Cohen, Deborah J. Prescription for Health Evaluation: Practice Information Form Data, 2005-2007 [United States]. ICPSR27041-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-06-23.

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This study was funded by:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (047075, 053221)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    diet, drinking behavior, exercise, health behavior, health education, physician practice, preventive medicine, primary care, program evaluation, smoking cessation

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2005--2007

Date of Collection:   

  • 2005--2007

Universe:    Primary care physician practices belonging to PBRNs in the United States

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

More information about this study can be found on the Prescription for Health Web site.

Each case in the data files represents a primary care practice. There are 102 cases in the baseline data file and 57 in the follow-up data file. Two practices included in the follow-up data are missing from the baseline data.

The baseline and follow-up data files can be linked by matching on the common identification variables named pbrn_id and pracid. Since pracid is a character variable in the follow-up file, users should convert pracid to a numeric variable in the follow-up file before the files are merged.

The variables in the baseline and follow-up data files share identical variable names.



Ten PBRNs were selected for the round two evaluation:

  1. American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network (AAFP NRN)
  2. Virginia Ambulatory Care Outcomes Research Network (ACORN)
  3. Colorado Research Network (CaReNet)
  4. Center to Enhance Child Health Network (CECH)
  5. Great Lakes Research Into Practice Network (GRIN)
  6. North Carolina Family Medicine Research Network (NCFMRN)
  7. New York City Research and Improvement Networking Group (NYC RING)
  8. Oklahoma Physician Resource/Research Network (OKPRN)
  9. Practice Research Network of San Antonio (PRENSA)
  10. Research Association of Practices (RAP)

Each participating PBRN recruited a convenience sample of primary care practices. Altogether, 104 practices constitute the sample.

Mode of Data Collection:    web-based survey

Presence of Common Scales:    Practice Information Form (PIF)

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2010-06-23

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