242623 MAPPing rural older adults' barriers to health care

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:06 AM

Audrey June Burnett, PhD, CHES , Department of Health Sciences - Public Health Program, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Objectives: To examine the barriers in accessing health care services (i.e., vision and dental care) and insurance coverage among rural older adults in New River Valley (NRV), Virginia utilizing the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) framework. Methods: MAPP provides communities with a framework to collect and analyze health data, as well as identify and prioritize community health issues to implement action plans that address needs. A total of 100 forced-choice surveys were manually distributed to older adult patrons of five area senior centers. Results: Among the sample (79% female; 21% male), 57% were Caucasian, with 43% African American, Native American, Asian American, or Latina identity. Although 46% reported obtaining required care, nearly 32% reported not being able to pay for necessary care at any given time, and 22% lacked health insurance coverage. Approximately 67% lacked dental insurance, and 21% of the sample had not visited a dentist in the past three years. Similarly, a total of 28% had not seen an eye doctor in the past three years, while 18% could not afford prescription eyewear. Finally, nearly 20% reported lack of transportation as an issue in accessing necessary health care services. Conclusions: Rural older adult residents without health care coverage or barriers to financing and/or obtaining dental or vision care remain primary issues of concern, particularly as preventative measures to future health conditions. Community efforts and legislative policies must be implemented to achieve improved health and access to care among rural older adult residents.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
- Explain the specific barriers among older adult community residents in accessing health care services (e.g., dental & vision care) and health insurance coverage. - Discuss legislative policies to ensure equity regarding insurance coverage and access to care within underserved communities and populations.

Keywords: Health Care Access, Community Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am an Assistant Professor of Public Health college courses with a research focus on older adults, community health, needs assessments, and health equity.
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: Rural Aging Issues
See more of: Aging & Public Health