National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging

National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 1985: Drug Mentions (ICPSR 9096)

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This data collection is the latest in a series of surveys that offers information on patients' visits to a national sample of office-based physicians. The National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys collected information on all drugs/medications ordered, administered, or provided during the visits. The data items include the medication code, generic name and code, brand name, entry status, prescription status, federal controlled substance status, composition status, and related ingredient codes.

Series: National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey Series

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Study Description


U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics. NATIONAL AMBULATORY MEDICAL CARE SURVEY, 1985: DRUG MENTIONS. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics [producer], 1985. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1989.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   ambulatory care, doctor visits, health care services, medical care, medical evaluation, medical records, medications, patient care, patients, physicians, prescription drugs, treatment

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1985

Universe:   Office visits to nonfederally employed physicians classified by the American Medical Association (AMA) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) as "office-based, patient care" (excluding specialties of anesthesiology, pathology, and radiology), from 84 Primary Sampling Units (PSUs) in the United States.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The data contain ampersands (&), dashes (-), and blanks. The distribution of patient ages for each drug mention is: N=12,236 ages 65-74, N=8,307 ages 75-84, and N=1,706 ages 85 and over.


Sample:   Stratified multistage probability design. In the first stage the PSUs were selected by a modified probability proportional-to-size procedure using separate sampling frames for SMSAs and for nonmetropolitan counties. The second stage consisted of a probability sample of practicing physicians selected from the master files maintained by the AMA and AOA. Within each PSU, all eligible physicians were stratified by 15 specialty groups. The final stage was the selection of patient visits within the annual practices of sample physicians. This involved two steps. First, the total physician sample was divided into 52 with each physician randomly assigned to one of the 52 weeks in the survey year. Second, a systematic random sample of visits was selected by the physician during the assigned week.

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