An Exploration of the Emerging Adult Woman’s Perceived Value of Primary Care


Author/Creator ORCID




Hood College Department of Education


Organizational Leadership

Citation of Original Publication


Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States


The healthcare industry often justifies framing patients as consumers using the fact that today’s emerging adults, who assume priority of convenience over continuity, demand transactional care and are forgoing relational care. Self-guided transactional utilization has caused emerging adults to lack primary care continuity, which is problematic both for cost and quality of care. This qualitative study explores the lived experiences of emerging adult women and reveals the essence of the value of primary care purported in their individually designed ideal primary care systems. Analysis of individual interviews revealed: (1) emerging adults desire, but struggle to find, the human connection or a patient-provider relationship in primary care; (2) primary care delivered like a business reinforces emerging adults’ belief that the human connection is not possible, causing transactional services to be attractive for at least their convenience and efficiency; and (3) emerging adults are asking for high touch care similar to care management services traditionally only provided to insurance-backed “high risk” patient panels. Implications of these findings are crucial to discerning how primary care practices and policies can evolve to focus on empathy and leverage transactional conveniences that reinforce rather than replace patient-provider relationships. Focused attention is needed to ensure the value proposition of the patient-provider relationship is not lost on future generations of patients through adoption of these findings in best practice models like the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Patient Centered Medical Home.