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Keywords

Discrimination in medical care; Health care disparities; Health services accessibility; Medicine, Preventive; Nevada; People with disabilities; Preventative health care services; Preventive health services

Abstract

Health disparities are differences in access to health care, quality of health care and health outcomes observed between population-specific groups of people (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2000). Previous research has found that people with disabilities experience unequal access to preventative health care services. The purpose of this study was to conduct a secondary data analysis using data from the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to determine differences in utilization of preventative health services between adults with and without disabilities in Nevada. Nevadans with disabilities were significantly more likely to have access to health insurance and to have seen a physician in the past year. Nevadans with disabilities were significantly more likely to engage in some preventative services (pneumonia and flu vaccination) and less likely to engage in other preventative services (pap in the past three years and dental cleaning in the past year). This may be the result of some preventative services being easily administered to patients whether they have disabilities or not (immunizations) while other preventative services are more difficult to administer to those with disabilities. Public health interventions are needed to address the unique needs of Nevadans with disabilities to ensure equal access to all recommended preventative health care services.