Answered By: Todd White
Last Updated: Nov 26, 2018     Views: 1

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, does not address this issue. However, they do spend several paragraphs discussing the appropriate use of the en dash as opposed to the em dash when hyphenating words. :(

I did a search of article titles in the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health (CINAHL) and approx. 54,000 articles use "health care" and approx. 34,000 articles use healthcare.

I have attached an entry from Slee's Heath Care Terms, 4th edition, which doesn't answer the question but at least we know it has been asked since at least 2001.

This from the editor of the Health Care Management Review (who argues to use "health care").


This is my official advice backed by my degree which has the word "science" in it.

a). Don't worry about it. Spend your time on the content of your paper.

b). If you are directly quoting a source, then you must use the term your source is using, and if one source uses "health care" and another uses healthcare, quote them exactly as they have written.

c). For your own writing, chose one or the other and then be consistent with it throughout the paper.


And now my disclaimer: I am not your professor. If your professor wants one term over the other (and after all, they should know), then that is what you should use.

Good luck.

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