Distance and Access to Health Care for Rural Women with Heart Failure

Abstract

Background and Research Objective: Heart Failure (HF) is a disease state requiring ongoing and specialized health care. For persons living in rural areas, access to care may be delayed or difficult as best due to the distance involved. Distance to obtain health care can be further confounded by such issues as weather and lack of transportation. To further understand these issues, a sample of women diagnosed with HF and living in rural upstate New York was studied to explicate the impact of distance and weather on access to health care.
Sample and Method: A convenience sample of 45 women living in upstate New York diagnosed with HF was studied to assess the impact of distance and the associated issues on accessing health care. Mileage to primary care and specialty care was quantified. Frequencies for associated issues such as the need for emergency care, weather, and the ability to drive were measured.
Results and Conclusions: The mean distance to obtain primary care was 6.4 miles, while the mean distance to obtain cardiology care was 32.6 miles. However, only 50% of the sample actually sought ongoing care from a cardiologist. When assessing the impact of weather or distance on access to health care, no significant influences were found. However, with increasing age, weather was shown to approach significance (p=. 059). These findings further illustrate the ongoing issues experienced by rural dwellers when accessing health care for HF.
https://doi.org/10.14574/ojrnhc.v7i1.141
PDF

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share (for non-commerical purposes) the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).