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Global Journal of Health Science





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Structural barriers that limit access to health care services for people with disabilities have been identified through qualitative studies; however, little is known about how patients with disabilities are accommodated in the clinical setting when a structural barrier is encountered. The purpose of this study was to identify how primary care medical practices in the United States accommodated people with disabilities when a barrier to service is encountered. Primary care practice administrators from the medical management organization were identified through the organization’s website. Sixty-three administrators from across the US participated in this study. Practice administrators reported that patients were examined in their wheelchairs (76%), that parts of the exam were skipped when a barrier was encountered (44%), that patients were asked to bring someone with them (52.4%) or that patients were refused treatment due to an inaccessible clinic (3.2%). These methods of accommodation would not be in compliance with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. There was not a significant difference (p > 0.05) in accommodations for patients with disabilities between administrators who could describe the application of the ADA to their clinic and those who could not. Practice administrators need a comprehensive understanding of the array of challenges encountered by patients with disabilities throughout the healthcare process and of how to best accommodate patients with disabilities in their practice.


Accommodations; Americans with Disabilities Act; Barrier-free design; Disabled Persons/legislation & jurisprudence; Disabled Persons/statistics & numerical data; Female; Health care access; Health Care Surveys/legislation & jurisprudence; Health Care Surveys/methods; Health Care Surveys/statistics & numerical data; Health services accessibility; Health services accessibility--Law and legislation; Health Services Accessibility/legislation & jurisprudence; Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data; Health Services Needs and Demand/legislation & jurisprudence; Health Services Needs and Demand/statistics & numerical data; Humans; Male; Medical care surveys; Men; Middle Aged; People with disabilities; Primary care; Primary care (Medicine); Primary health care; Primary health care--Government policy; Primary Health Care/legislation & jurisprudence; Primary Health Care/methods; Refusal to treat; Refusal to Treat/legislation & jurisprudence; Refusal to Treat/statistics & numerical data; United States; Wheelchairs; Women


Community-Based Research | Environmental Health | Inequality and Stratification




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