Online Program

Availability of accessibility features for patients with mobility disabilities at primary health care facilities: Findings from a provider survey

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Kiyoshi Yamaki, PhD, Department of Disability and Human Development, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Sharon Lamp, M.S., Department of Disability and Human Development, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago,, Chicago, IL
Carla Cox, MPH, CHES, Illinois Disability and Health Program, Illinois Department of Public Health, Springfield, IL
Background: Primary care is a patient’s first point of contact with the health care system and is considered to be the foundation in achieving and maintaining optimal health.  Persons with mobility disabilities, however, may not benefit fully from primary care services if there are access barriers in/around the patient examination room. Yet, there is currently a dearth of information about the extent of such access barriers in primary care settings. 

Method: Utilizing “Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Mobility Disabilities (US DOJ, 2010),” we developed a survey focusing on the access barriers in/around the patient examination room at primary care facilities.  The twenty-item questionnaire addresses the following four domains: 1) pathway to and spatial accessibility of an examination room, 2) accessible diagnostic equipment, 3) patient transfer elements, and 4) staff trained in equipment operation and patient transfers.  The survey was administered online to a convenience sample of primary care providers (n=160). 

Results: Almost all providers reported adequate pathway (92%) and spatial accessibility (90%).  Less than half of them reported the availability of accessible exam tables (44%) and accessible weight scales (28%).  Even fewer providers reported the availability of patient transfer elements such as a gait belt (26%) and transfer board (24%).  Forty-one percent reported that staff trained in patient transfer techniques were available at all times.

Conclusion: There is a need to raise awareness about access barriers in primary health care settings for persons with mobility disabilities.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify at least one access barrier to primary health care services for people with mobility disabilities.

Keyword(s): Disabilities, Accessibility

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My public health interests include promoting awareness among health care professionals as to the unique needs of people with disabilities in health care settings. I took the lead in developing the exam room and medical equipment questionnaire and participated in conducting the survey, the findings of which the proposed presentation is based on. I participated in facilitating data collection, performing data analysis, and reporting the survey findings to health care professionals in Illinois.
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.