Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Iezzoni, L.I., Killeen, M.B., & O’Day, B.L. (2006). Rural residents with disabilities confront substantial barriers to obtaining primary care. Health Services Research, 41 (4), 1258-1275.
Title:  Rural residents with disabilities confront substantial barriers to obtaining primary care
Authors:  Iezzoni, L.I., Killeen, M.B., & O’Day, B.L.
Year:  2006
Journal/Publication:  Health Services Research
Publisher:  Wiley
Full text:    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No

Structured abstract:

Background:  Individuals living in rural communities often face significant barriers when seeking healthcare, including lack of public transportation, low rates of employment-related health insurance, and fragile socioeconomic infrastructures. In particular, working-age, rural residents with disabilities are especially disadvantaged.
Purpose:  This study examined how working-age, rural residents with disabilities perceive their healthcare experiences and the role of their disability in these experiences.
Study sample:  The study sample consisted of four rural focus groups consisting 35 individuals with either sensory, physical, psychiatric, or multiple disabilities, who were recruited from local centers for independent living in Massachusetts and Virginia.
Data collection and analysis:  The participants attended a two-hour focus group where they were interviewed and audiotaped. Professional transcripts were obtained from the audiotapes and, after reviewing, coding categories were generated. The texts were sorted with NVivo software to be analyzed independently by each investigator.
Findings:  A number of themes emerged from the focus groups, but interviewees repeatedly raised the concerns about the lack of transportation, both locally and for traveling long distances. The consensus was that public transportation is relatively nonexistent in rural areas. Even when public transportation is available, it is frequently inaccessible.
Conclusions:  Many of the same barriers reported by rural residents without disabilities were reported in this study. Rural areas have limited public transportation options, and low population densities and long distances make paratransit prohibitively expensive. Moreover, rural areas frequently lack the environmental features required by individuals with disabilities (e.g., sidewalks, curb cuts, street crossings with accessible signals).

Disabilities served:  Multiple disabilities