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Accommodations for patients with disabilities in primary care: a mixed methods study of practice administrators
Global Journal of Health Science
  • Jennifer Renee Pharr, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Document Type
Publication Date
Structural barriers that limit access to health care services for people with disabilities have been identified through qualitative studies; however, little is known about how patients with disabilities are accommodated in the clinical setting when a structural barrier is encountered. The purpose of this study was to identify how primary care medical practices in the United States accommodated people with disabilities when a barrier to service is encountered. Primary care practice administrators from the medical management organization were identified through the organization’s website. Sixty-three administrators from across the US participated in this study. Practice administrators reported that patients were examined in their wheelchairs (76%), that parts of the exam were skipped when a barrier was encountered (44%), that patients were asked to bring someone with them (52.4%) or that patients were refused treatment due to an inaccessible clinic (3.2%). These methods of accommodation would not be in compliance with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. There was not a significant difference (p > 0.05) in accommodations for patients with disabilities between administrators who could describe the application of the ADA to their clinic and those who could not. Practice administrators need a comprehensive understanding of the array of challenges encountered by patients with disabilities throughout the healthcare process and of how to best accommodate patients with disabilities in their practice.
  • Accommodations,
  • Americans with Disabilities Act,
  • Barrier-free design,
  • Disabled Persons/legislation & jurisprudence,
  • Disabled Persons/statistics & numerical data,
  • Female,
  • Health care access,
  • Health Care Surveys/legislation & jurisprudence,
  • Health Care Surveys/methods,
  • Health Care Surveys/statistics & numerical data,
  • Health services accessibility,
  • Health services accessibility--Law and legislation,
  • Health Services Accessibility/legislation & jurisprudence,
  • Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data,
  • Health Services Needs and Demand/legislation & jurisprudence,
  • Health Services Needs and Demand/statistics & numerical data,
  • Humans,
  • Male,
  • Medical care surveys,
  • Men,
  • Middle Aged,
  • People with disabilities,
  • Primary care,
  • Primary care (Medicine),
  • Primary health care,
  • Primary health care--Government policy,
  • Primary Health Care/legislation & jurisprudence,
  • Primary Health Care/methods,
  • Refusal to treat,
  • Refusal to Treat/legislation & jurisprudence,
  • Refusal to Treat/statistics & numerical data,
  • United States,
  • Wheelchairs,
  • Women
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Citation Information
Jennifer Renee Pharr. "Accommodations for patients with disabilities in primary care: a mixed methods study of practice administrators" Global Journal of Health Science Vol. 6 Iss. 1 (2013) p. 23 - 32
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