Spatial accessibility of primary care pediatric services in an urban environment: association with asthma management and outcome.
ABSTRACT Disadvantaged urban children with asthma depend heavily on emergency departments (EDs) for episodic care. We hypothesized that among an urban population of children with asthma, higher spatial accessibility to primary care pediatric services would be associated with (1) more scheduled primary care visits for asthma, (2) better longitudinal asthma management, and (3) fewer unscheduled visits for asthma care.
We enrolled children aged 12 months to 17 years, inclusive, who sought acute asthma care in an urban pediatric ED. Eligibility criteria included a history of unscheduled visits for asthma in the previous year. We collected comprehensive data on each participant's asthma medical management and prior health care utilization. In addition, we calculated each participant's spatial accessibility to primary care pediatric services, reported as a provider-to-population ratio at their place of residence. Patients then were stratified by their spatial accessibility to care and compared with respect to measures of medical management and health care utilization.
Among the 411 eligible participants, the spatial accessibility of primary care ranged from 7.4 to 350.2 full-time pediatric providers per 100,000 children <18 years of age, with a mean of 57.7 +/- 40.0. Patients in the middle and highest tertiles of spatial accessibility made significantly more scheduled visits for asthma care than patients in the lowest tertile. There were no differences among tertiles of accessibility with respect to asthma management or with respect to unscheduled visits for asthma care.
Within this highly urban, largely disadvantaged and minority population of children with chronic asthma, patients with higher spatial accessibility to primary care services made significantly more scheduled visits for asthma care.
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ABSTRACT: To determine the spatial and demographic characteristics of pediatric patients who make nonurgent visits (NUVs) to an urban pediatric emergency department (ED). We hypothesized that the rate of NUVs would be inversely associated with the spatial density of primary care providers (PCPs). A retrospective, cross-sectional analysis was conducted for all visits to Washington, DC's principal pediatric ED between 2003 and 2006. NUVs were defined by a unique algorithm combining resource allocation, ambulatory-sensitive diagnoses, and billing data. Multivariate linear regression analysis was used to determine the association of PCP density and demographic variables on the spatial rate of NUVs. Over the 4-year period, 35.1% (52,110) of the 148,314 ED visits by Washington, DC, residents were nonurgent. NUVs were most associated with neighborhood median household income <$40,000 and low spatial density of PCPs. For every 1-unit increase in PCP density, the spatial rate of NUVs decreased by 9%. The odds of a visit being nonurgent were significantly higher for African Americans and Hispanics than for whites (odds ratio [OR] 2.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.19-2.64; and OR 2.6, 95% CI 2.36-2.86, respectively), for patients using public insurance versus private (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.42-1.50), and for patients age <5 years (OR 2.66, 95% CI 2.60-2.72). Low spatial density of primary care is strongly associated with nonurgent ED utilization. Improving spatial distribution of primary care may decrease ED misuse and improve access to the medical home.Academic pediatrics 13(3):278-85.
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ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine uptake remains low. Although publicly funded programs provide free or low cost vaccines to low-income children, barriers aside from cost may prevent disadvantaged girls from getting vaccinated. Prior studies have shown distance to health care as a potential barrier to utilizing pediatric preventive services. This study examines whether HPV vaccines are geographically accessible for low-income girls in Los Angeles County and whether proximity to safety-net clinics is associated with vaccine initiation. METHODS: Interviews were conducted in multiple languages with largely immigrant, low-income mothers of girls ages 9 to 18 via a county health hotline to assess uptake and correlates of uptake. Addresses of respondents and safety-net clinics that provide the HPV vaccine for free or low cost were geo-coded and linked to create measures of geographic proximity. Logistic regression models were estimated for each proximity measure on HPV vaccine initiation while controlling for other factors. RESULTS: On average, 83% of the 468 girls had at least one clinic within 3-miles of their residence. The average travel time on public transportation to the nearest clinic among all girls was 21min. Average proximity to clinics differed significantly by race/ethnicity. Latinas had both the shortest travel distances (2.2 miles) and public transportation times (16min) compared to other racial/ethnic groups. The overall HPV vaccine initiation rate was 25%. Increased proximity to the nearest clinic was not significantly associated with initiation. By contrast, mother's awareness of HPV and daughter's age were significantly associated with increased uptake. CONCLUSIONS: This study is among the first to examine geographic access to HPV vaccines for underserved girls. Although the majority of girls live in close proximity to safety-net vaccination services, rates of initiation were low. Expanding clinic outreach in this urban area is likely more important than increasing geographic access to the vaccine for this population.Vaccine 03/2013; · 3.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: While HPV vaccines can greatly benefit adolescents and young women from high-risk areas, little is known about whether safety-net immunization services are geographically accessible to communities at greatest risk for HPV-associated diseases. We explore the spatial relationship between areas with high HPV risk and proximity to safety-net clinics from an ecologic perspective. We used cancer registry data and Chlamydia surveillance data to identify neighborhoods within Los Angeles County with high risk for HPV-associated cancers. We examined proximity to safety-net clinics among neighborhoods with the highest risk. Proximity was measured as the shortest distance between each neighborhood center and the nearest clinic and having a clinic within 3 miles of each neighborhood center. The average 5-year non-age-adjusted rates were 1,940 cases per 100,000 for Chlamydia and 60 per 100,000 for HPV-associated cancers. A large majority, 349 of 386 neighborhoods with high HPV-associated cancer rates and 532 of 537 neighborhoods with high Chlamydia rates, had a clinic within 3 miles of the neighborhood center. Clinics were more likely to be located within close proximity to high-risk neighborhoods in the inner city. High-risk neighborhoods outside of this urban core area were less likely to be near accessible clinics. The majority of high-risk neighborhoods were geographically near safety-net clinics with HPV vaccination services. Due to low rates of vaccination, these findings suggest that while services are geographically accessible, additional efforts are needed to improve uptake. Programs aimed to increase awareness about the vaccine and to link underserved groups to vaccination services are warranted.Cancer Causes and Control 09/2013; · 3.20 Impact Factor