Journal Articles

Publication Date



Journal of the American Medical Directors Association


OBJECTIVES: Patient priorities care (PPC) is an evidence-based approach designed to help patients achieve what matters most to them by identifying their health priorities and working with clinicians to align the care they provide to the patient's priorities. This study examined the impact of the PPC approach on long-term service and support (LTSS) use among veterans.

DESIGN: Quasi-experimental study examining differences in LTSS use between veterans exposed to PPC and propensity-matched controls not exposed to PPC adjusting for covariates.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-six social workers in 5 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) sites trained in PPC in 2018, 143 veterans who used the PPC approach, and 286 matched veterans who did not use the PPC approach.

METHODS: Veterans with health priorities identified through the PPC approach were the intervention group (n = 143). The usual care group included propensity-matched veterans evaluated by the same social workers in the same period who did not participate in PPC (n = 286). The visit with the social worker was the index date. We examined LTSS use, emergency department (ED), and urgent care visits, 12 months before and after this date for both groups. Electronic medical record notes were extracted with a validated natural language processing algorithm (84% sensitivity, 95% specificity, and 92% accuracy).

RESULTS: Most participants were white men, mean age was 76, and 30% were frail. LTSS use was 48% higher in the PPC group compared with the usual care group [odds ratio (OR), 1.48; 95% CI, 1.00-2.18; P = .05]. Among those who lived >2 years after the index date, new LTSS use was higher (OR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.04-2.76; P = .036). Among nonfrail individuals, LTSS use was also higher in the PPC group (OR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.06-2.74; P = .028). PPC was not associated with higher ED or urgent care use.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: PPC results in higher LTSS use but not ED or urgent care in these veterans. LTSS use was higher for nonfrail veterans and those living longer. The PPC approach helps identify health priorities, including unmet needs for safe and independent living that LTSS can support.


Humans, Male, Female, United States, Aged, Middle Aged, Propensity Score, Cohort Studies, Veterans, Health Priorities, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Long-Term Care

Included in

Public Health Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.