221061 Rural and urban comparisons of access to health care and preventive health practices: Results from the 2008 Montana Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 2:50 PM - 3:10 PM

Heather Zimmerman, MPH , Public Health and Safety Division, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Helena, MT
Joanne Oreskovich, PhD , Public Health and Safety Division, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Helena, MT
Multiple studies have demonstrated that where you live has an impact on your health. Rural populations face significantly different economic and social environments than their urban counterparts. Rural communities are generally poorer, more likely to be elderly and have higher proportion of the population uninsured or underinsured. These risk factors all point toward poorer health outcomes and a greater need for health care services. With roughly 85% of its population living in rural or frontier counties Montana is no exception. However, it is unclear whether Montana's rural communities are limited in their access to health care or preventive measures due to their relative isolation. We analyzed 2008 Montana BRFSS data to further explore this question. Using the Rural-Urban Continuum Codes developed by the USDA to group counties according to their degree of rurality, we compared the health care access measures: not having health insurance, having health insurance but being unable to see a doctor due to cost in the past year (underinsured), having a personal health care provider, reporting a routine checkup within the past 12 months, and the preventive health care measures: receiving recommended influenza and pneumonia vaccinations, and being up to date on recommended routine cancer screening tests (breast, cervical, colorectal and prostrate) among urban, rural adjacent, and rural non-adjacent counties in Montana. The implications of the degree of rurality in Montana communities and corresponding health care measures will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Learning Objectives:
1. Define the rural-urban continuum codes method for classifying counties and the criteria for inclusion in each of the 9 RUCC categories. 2. List the measures of access to health care and preventive health practices used in the BRFSS. 3. Describe the characteristics of rurality that can influence access to health care and preventive health care practices.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I serve as the main epidemiologist for the Montana BRFSS and am responsible for data analysis and desemination of results as well as data managment and survey design of state added questions.
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.

Back to: 4279.0: Access to Care II