Physical Accessibility and Health Care Use for Women with Physical Disabilities

A Case Study

  • Tracy Sweeney University of Michigan, Flint
  • Rie Suzuki University of Michigan, Flint


Cancer burden lies heavily on women with physical disabilities (WPD) because WPD are much less likely to receive preventive care. This disparity of use of cancer screening is directly linked to the inaccessibility of health care clinics, which often arises from obstacles in the physical environment. The purpose of study was to gain information regarding physical accessibility of a health care clinic for WPD. The study was set up as a two-part case study of a single outpatient health care clinic. The first part of the study utilized two checklists which were used to manually measure the accessibility of the clinic by a trained research assistant. These checklists included the Outpatient Health Care Usability Profile and the Kentucky Cabinet Survey. The clinic was found to be usable for WPD in all areas except parking, signage, controls, telephones, counters, and exam rooms. The second part of the study included interviews of two WPD who were the patients at the measured clinic to gain perspective on personally experienced barriers within the clinic. They identified the use human resources as means to overcome obstacles in the clinic. Implications for this study include the removal of barriers found to impede accessibility in the clinic and training of staff to assist WPD with transfers.

How to Cite
Sweeney, T., & Suzuki, R. (2013). Physical Accessibility and Health Care Use for Women with Physical Disabilities: A Case Study. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 11(1), 58-66.