Online Program

Understanding travel burden among women suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus: A mixed methods approach

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kasim Ortiz, PhD (c), MS, BA, Independent Scholar, Columbia, SC
Minnjuan Flournoy Floyd, PhD, MPH, Institute for Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Lynn Weber, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
LaShanta Rice, PhD, MPH, Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Diane L. Kamen, MD, MSCR, Rheumatology & Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Edith M. Williams, PhD, MS, Institute for Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Research exploring the effects of travel for healthcare services are growing rapidly, particularly as GIS becomes more used by public health professionals. Mixed method explorations on the effects of travel impediments among patients suffering from rheumatic diseases have been very limited, however. Research has consistently indicated a shortage in rheumatologists, resulting in patients potentially having to travel long distances for care. Rheumatic diseases can cause extreme joint discomfort, making travelling long distances difficult; thus, more research exploring travel burden among patients suffering from rheumatic diseases is warranted. In this study, we conducted in-depth interviews with patients suffering from systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) as a pilot study, Ten (10) interviews were conducted among participants in the Medical University of South Carolina's SLE database. Grounding our research are two theoretical frameworks, both intersectionality and situational analysis. Using patient provided information from a brief survey at the conclusion of the survey, we were able to utilize GIS analyses to help better display how travel might be a burden to SLE patients. An initial codebook was developed by two researchers on the team independently and then verified together. Patients described four major areas of concern with respect to travel burden in accessing their rheumatologists, which included: general travel issues; competing priorities; social/economic support challenges; and challenges surrounding general health. Our findings suggest more research is needed to examine the influence of travel burden among this population.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess how various women experience travel burden concerns in accessing rheumatologists; with particular attention to the social, economic, and political contexts that determine their experiences. Describe how both qualitative and GIS approaches can be integrated, from a feminist perspective, to improve our understanding the experiences of women suffering from SLE relative to travelling for health care services.

Keyword(s): Access and Services, Women's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conceptualized the paper, collected some data, and was mainly responsible for the development of the associated manuscript.
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.