Disparities in perceptions of healthcare access in a community sample.

Larson CO, Schlundt D, Patel K, McClellan L, Hargreaves M
J Ambul Care Manage. 2007 30 (2): 142-9

PMID: 17495683 · DOI:10.1097/01.JAC.0000264604.65370.8f

Disparities in health status persist for many sociodemographic groups in the United States. An understanding of barriers to healthcare access and utilization can assist community-based initiatives in developing strategies to improve the health of minority and low-income populations. Using self-reported information from 3014 community residents, a factor analysis was conducted that defined barriers to healthcare by 4 dimensions: (1) time and competing priorities, (2) convenience and availability, (3) healthcare utilization, and (4) healthcare affordability. Differential effects of demographics were observed on all factors. Racial disparities were found where African Americans experienced more problems based on the convenience and availability of services (P < .02) than did whites, after controlling for income, education, age, and marital status. In addition, gender differences showed that women experienced greater difficulty with time and competing priorities than men (P < .001); however, women experienced fewer problems related to utilization (P < .001). Of the covariates, income was significant (P < .01) on 3 of the 4 indicators. This study points to the need to develop interventions that address the unique challenges faced by different population groups to ensure timely healthcare. In addition, the reduction of economic disparities should be considered as an important strategy to improve public health.

MeSH Terms (12)

Adult Aged Attitude Health Services Accessibility Health Status Humans Male Middle Aged Minority Groups Poverty Surveys and Questionnaires Tennessee

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