Disability, Health Care, Rural, West Virginia, Accessibility, Design, Accessible Design
Medicine and Health Sciences
The purpose of this research is to better understand the physical and environmental features of outpatient healthcare facilities that act as barriers to healthcare access in rural West Virginia and factors that contribute to non-compliance with the ADA. The research aims to explore the prevalence of barriers in rural West Virginia health facilities and the relationship between building characteristics (like year of construction and original purpose) and accessibility. The researcher evaluated ten rural outpatient member-sites of the West Virginia Practice-Based Research Network using the Outpatient Health Care Usability Profile to measure essential features for a facility to be considered ‘usable’. The results indicate that once adjusted for items that did not apply to specific clinics, surveyed clinics scored an average of 73% in overall accessibility. Counters, restrooms, and exam rooms were the lowest scoring categories. The study found a moderate positive correlation between year of construction and mobility (Pearson r =0.765) and overall score (r=0.637). This research supports the notion that physical and environmental barriers to healthcare access still exists and that older clinical buildings run a higher risk of being non-compliant with essential ADA items and thus contribute to barrier creation. This research design was approved by the West Virginia University Institutional Review Board (IRB), protocol number 1802995833.
Miller JE, Haddox C.
Accessible Design in Rural Health Care: Usability Profile of Outpatient Health Care Facilities in Rural West Virginia.