Date of Publication
Introduction. Missed appointments often lead to poorer health care outcomes for patients and pose a major economic burden on medical centers. Transportation is an obstacle to accessing medical care for elderly patients in Vermont and results in delayed medical appointments.
Methods. We surveyed senior citizens in Chittenden county to determine both the type of transportation barriers and medical care missed due to the lack of transpor- tation. An original survey assessing the impact of transportation to health care was distributed in person and through an online platform. Participants were asked to identify the following in the past year: how often transportation was an issue for healthcare, specific barriers to transportation, and which specific health care appointments were missed due to lack of transportation. Ninety-six surveys out of a total of 251 collected were included in the analysis. Respondents were grouped into either having high transportation barriers, n=43, (always, often, sometimes had issues in the past year), or low transportation barriers, n=53, (rarely had issues).
Results. The high barriers group reported more missed appointments, with eye appointments being the most frequent, and depended more on other modes of trans- portation. The low barriers group was able to drive themselves to their appointments more often.
Conclusion. The results suggest a trend between barriers to transportation and a lack of access to healthcare appointments. Although more than half of the survey respondents indicated that they do not currently experience transportation barriers, many expressed concern about the transportation difficulties they could encounter in the future.
UVM Larner College of Medicine
United Way of Northwest Vermont
Access to Health Services, Older Adults
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Kilgus, Britta; Persaud, Michael; Selig, Nicholas; Syed, Harris; Trieu, Vanessa; Wall, Danielle; Hou, Wendy; Hou, Yiping; Soderquist, Leah; and Hutchins, Jeanne, "Transportation Barriers to Healthcare in Adults 65+ in the Greater Burlington Area" (2018). Public Health Projects, 2008-present. 264.