Disability and physical and communication-related barriers to health care related services among Florida residents: A brief report

Academic Article


  • Background Research has not fully characterized barriers to health care faced by persons with disabilities (PWD) which constitutes a critical gap given the increased risk of chronic illness faced by PWD. Objective To understand the current barriers to seeking health care-related services for PWD in Florida. Methods The study was based on a random-digit-dial telephone interview survey of respondents aged 18 and over (n = 1429). Multivariable logistic regression assessed the relationship between disability and physical and communication barriers. Results One thousand four hundred and twenty-nine Florida residents participated in the survey. Thirty-three percent of respondents (n = 471) reported having a disability. PWD were significantly older (mean age 68 vs. 61) and had lower levels of income and education than persons without disabilities (PWOD) (p < 0.05). In adjusted analyses, PWD had significantly higher odds of encountering a physical environment barrier (Odds Ratio [OR] = 16.6 95% CI: 7.9, 34.9), a clinical experience barrier (OR = 13.9 95% CI: 6.9, 27.9) a communication and knowledge barrier (OR = 6.7 95% CI: 4.0, 11.3) and a barrier coordinating care (OR = 5.7 95% CI: 3.4, 9.6) compared to persons without disabilities (PWOD). Conclusions PWD disproportionately face health care access difficulties that can impede the receipt of high quality care within and between provider visits. Efforts to reduce physical barriers and improve communication between providers and PWD may improve functional status and quality of life for these patients.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bauer SE; Schumacher JR; Hall A; Marlow NM; Friedel C; Scheer D; Redmon S
  • Start Page

  • 552
  • End Page

  • 556
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 3