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Access to health care for men and women with disabilities in the UK: a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data

Sakellariou, Dikaios and Rotarou, Elena S. 2017. Access to health care for men and women with disabilities in the UK: a secondary analysis of cross-sectional data. BMJ Open 7 (8) , e016614. 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016614

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Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate differences in access to health care between people with and without disabilities in the UK. The hypotheses were that: a) people with disabilities would be more likely to have unmet health care needs; and b) there would be gender differences, with women more likely to report unmet needs. Setting and Participants: We performed secondary analysis, using logistic regressions, of de-identified cross-sectional data from the European Health Interview Survey, Wave 2. The sample included 12,840 community-dwelling people over the age of 16 from across the UK, 5,236 of whom had a disability. The survey method involved face-to-face and telephone interviews. Outcome measures: Unmet need for health care due to long waiting lists, or distance or transportation problems; not being able to afford medical examination, treatment, mental health care, or prescribed medicines. All measures were self-reported. Results: Adjusting for age, sex, and other factors, people with a severe disability had higher odds of facing unmet needs. The largest gap was in ‘unmet need for mental health care due to cost’, where people with a severe disability were 4.5 times (CI 95%: 2.2-9.2) more likely to face a problem, as well as in ‘unmet need due to cost of prescribed medicine’, where people with a mild disability had 3.6 (CI 95%: 2.2-5.9) higher odds of facing a difficulty. Women with a disability were 7.2 times (CI 95%: 2.7-19.4) more likely to have unmet needs due to cost of care or medication, compared to men with no disability. Conclusions: People with disabilities reported worse access to health care, with transportation, cost, and long waiting lists being the main barriers. These findings are worrying as they illustrate that a section of the population, who may have higher health care needs, faces increased barriers in accessing services.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0)
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 2044-6055
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 September 2017
Date of Acceptance: 20 June 2017
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2020 11:15

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