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Random samples were drawn in Douglas County, Nebraska (N = 196, mean age = 73.8 years), in the counties surrounding Douglas County also served by the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging (N = 104, mean age = 72.4 years), and in eleven of the rural Sandhills counties of Nebraska (N = 200, mean age = 76.6). Participants responded to structured interviews of 169 questions that included self-assessed health status, availability of health care and physician services, costs, attitudes toward health care services, health experiences and beliefs. While the Sandhills respondents were significantly older and had less access to health services, they also had fewer annual days of hospitalization. There were no differences in subjective ratings of health or in levels of satisfaction with health care or availability.

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