A Model for Assessment of Potential Geographical Accessibility: A Case for GIS


Health is geographically differentiated thereby creating an inextricable link between “place” and “health”. Differences in access to healthcare services and resulting adverse health outcomes when there is inadequate healthcare are major public health priorities. While the literature is replete with research about disparities in healthcare access and health outcomes, a greater understanding of geographical enabling factors and predisposing characteristics is needed. The purpose of this concept article is to present a discussion of development of a theoretical framework for study of potential geographical access to healthcare from a perspective of Andersen’s Behavioral Model of Health Services Use (Andersen, 1995). An adaptation of Andersen’s model, The Model for the Assessment of Potential Geographical Accessibility, is presented as a conceptual framework to aide in future studies of potential geographical accessibility. The application of geographical information systems (GIS) technology and methodology as an analytical tool will also be presented.

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