Diane L. Smith, Ph.D., OTR/L
Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between disability, gender and access to health care, especially for women with disabilities compared to women without disabilities and men with disabilities.
Data from the 2006 NHIS were examined using chi square, linear regression, and logistic analysis to determine the relationship between health care access, severity of disability, and gender. Responses regarding functional limitations from adults aged 18 and over or their proxies were used to determine placement for analysis. The dependent variable was access to health care. The independent variables were disability and gender.
Women with disabilities had less access to health care than women without disabilities and men with disabilities. Disability and gender were predictive of lack of access to health care. Those who are disabled are 2.26 to 3.78 times more likely to not to have access to health care, and women were 1.26 times more likely not to have access to health care.
Health care professionals should advocate for more parity in health care access, removal of barriers and policies to provide needed funding for health care.