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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4305.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 4:30 PM

Abstract #115395

How Many of Montana’s Homes are Visit-able? Results from the 2004 Montana Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey

Meg Ann Traci, PhD1, Craig Ravesloot, PhD2, Joanne Oreskovich, PhD3, and Tom Seekins, PhD1. (1) The University of Montana Rural Institute, 52 Corbin Hall, Missoula, MT 59812, (2) Rural Institute on Disabilites, University of Montana, 52 Corbin Hall, University of Montana, Missoula, MT 59812, 406-243-2447, raves@selway.umt.edu, (3) Health Policy and Services Division, Montana DPHHS, P.O. Box 202951, Helena, MT 59620-29

“Visitability” means someone with physical impairments and related disabilities can easily visit you in your home. Visitable homes have a zero-step entry, doorways that are 32 inches wide, and at least an accessible half-bath on the ground floor. These defining features can prevent injuries from falls and secondary conditions experienced by adults with disabilities like isolation and depression. To expand this movement among private homes, the American Public Health Association (Public Policy 2000019) encouraged the National Fire Protection Association and other organizations to create codes and standards promoting safety and usability of private residences “for the largest range of people, including elderly persons or those of any age with disabilities” (APHA, 2001). The policy specifically names one of the criteria of visitability, zero-step entrances in homes, as a desirable component of any developed codes and standards. To establish a baseline measure of this key criterion in Montana, we developed and supported a specific item in the 2004 Montana Behavioral Risk Factor Survey. In 2004, five thousand Montanans were asked: “If a person who uses special equipment such as a wheelchair came to visit you, could they get into your house without being carried up steps or over other obstacles?” Using survey respondents' answers with other BRFSS data, we will report the number of visitable homes in the state with demographic profiles of those more likely to have visitable homes. We will discuss how these data can guide policy change and can be used to evaluate such changes.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant in this session will be able to

Keywords: Surveillance, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

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The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA