• 14Aug

    Study looks at physical disability and unmet need to see a doctor

    BMJ Open have published a paper examining how people with physical disability experience primary care in England.

    This study explores whether adult patients with physical disability, registered with English GPs, experience difficulty accessing primary care compared with patients without such disability. In particular, it assesses experience of inability to get to the surgery as a reason for unmet need to see a doctor in the preceding 6 months, and inability to get into the surgery building.

    The study aimed to compare patient-reported access to English primary care for adults with and without physical disability through secondary analysis of the 2010/11 General Practice Patient Survey.

    1,780,977 patients from 8,384 English general practices provided information on longstanding conditions limiting basic physical activity. 41,389 of these patients reported unmet need to see a doctor in the previous 6 months. 17.9% of patients with an unmet need to see a doctor were estimated to experience this due to difficulty getting to the surgery, and 2.2%  of all patients registered with a GP were estimated to experience difficulty getting into surgery buildings.

    The study concludes that adults in England with physical disability experience worse physical access into primary care buildings than those without. Physical disability is also associated with increased unmet healthcare need due to difficulty getting to GP premises, compared with the experience of adults without physical disability. Increasing age further exacerbates these problems.

    The full study can be read here.

    BMJ Open 2014;4:e004714 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004714,

    How do adults with physical disability experience primary care? A nationwide cross-sectional survey of access among patients in England

    Nicola T A Popplewell, Boika P D Rechel, Gary A Abel