206706 Group differences in healthcare access among people with disabilities

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Willi Horner-Johnson, PhD , Center on Community Accessibility, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Charles Drum, JD, PhD , Center on Community Accessibility, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Emily Walsh, MPH, CPH , Child Development & Rehabilitation Center, RRTC: Health & Wellness, Portland, OR
Background and Importance

People with disabilities in the U.S. report more unmet healthcare needs and receive fewer clinical preventive services than the general population. Yet, access to quality and timely healthcare is an established leading indicator of population health. People with disabilities from traditionally underserved groups may experience even greater barriers to healthcare. The present study examined healthcare access disparities among people with disabilities.


Data were collected via an online survey of adults with disabilities in the U.S. The online survey included assessments of unmet healthcare needs and common barriers to needed care. A total of 943 individuals participated in the study.


People with disabilities of minority race or ethnicity were significantly more likely than White non-Hispanic people to say they had not gotten needed health care in the past year. Women were significantly more likely than men to indicate that there was a time in the past year when they needed healthcare but did not get it. Likewise, people with multiple disabilities were significantly more likely to have had unmet healthcare needs than people with only one type of disability. The most common barriers to accessing healthcare included cost, limited insurance, and lack of providers. However, there were differences between the groups in ranking these and other barriers.


Findings suggest that certain groups of people with disabilities may be disproportionately lacking in needed healthcare services. Efforts to reduce disability-related disparities should pay particular attention to the barriers faced by minorities, women, and individuals with multiple disabilities.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe disparities in access to healthcare among people with disabilities. 2. Explain the implications of the findings for future research regarding healthcare access disparities for disability populations.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I co-authored the manuscript on which the poster is based.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Disability and Access to Care II
See more of: Disability