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Accessing doctors at times of need–measuring the distance tolerance of rural residents for health-related travel

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Health Services Research, May 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (86th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (89th percentile)

Mentioned by

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16 tweeters

Citations

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18 Dimensions

Readers on

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49 Mendeley
Title
Accessing doctors at times of need–measuring the distance tolerance of rural residents for health-related travel
Published in
BMC Health Services Research, May 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12913-015-0880-6
Pubmed ID
Authors

Matthew Richard McGrail, John Stirling Humphreys, Bernadette Ward

Abstract

Poor access to doctors at times of need remains a significant impediment to achieving good health for many rural residents. The two-step floating catchment area (2SFCA) method has emerged as a key tool for measuring healthcare access in rural areas. However, the choice of catchment size, a key component of the 2SFCA method, is problematic because little is known about the distance tolerance of rural residents for health-related travel. Our study sought new evidence to test the hypothesis that residents of sparsely settled rural areas are prepared to travel further than residents of closely settled rural areas when accessing primary health care at times of need. A questionnaire survey of residents in five small rural communities of Victoria and New South Wales in Australia was used. The two outcome measures were current travel time to visit their usual doctor and maximum time prepared to travel to visit a doctor, both for non-emergency care. Kaplan-Meier charts were used to compare the association between increased distance and decreased travel propensity for closely-settled and sparsely-settled areas, and ordinal multivariate regression models tested significance after controlling for health-related travel moderating factors and town clustering. A total of 1079 questionnaires were completed with 363 from residents in closely-settled locations and 716 from residents in sparsely-settled areas. Residents of sparsely-settled communities travel, on average, 10 min further than residents of closely-settled communities (26.3 vs 16.9 min, p < 0.001), though this difference was not significant after controlling for town clustering. Differences were more apparent in terms of maximum time prepared to travel (54.1 vs 31.9 min, p < 0.001). Differences of maximum time remained significant after controlling for demographic and other constraints to access, such as transport availability or difficulties getting doctor appointments, as well as after controlling for town clustering and current travel times. Improved geographical access remains a key issue underpinning health policies designed to improve the provision of rural primary health care services. This study provides empirical evidence that travel behaviour should not be implicitly assumed constant amongst rural populations when modelling access through methods like the 2SFCA.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 16 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 49 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 49 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 13 27%
Researcher 9 18%
Student > Master 7 14%
Student > Bachelor 4 8%
Professor 3 6%
Other 13 27%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 9 18%
Social Sciences 8 16%
Unspecified 8 16%
Nursing and Health Professions 7 14%
Psychology 3 6%
Other 14 29%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 11. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 02 June 2015.
All research outputs
#1,376,170
of 12,861,153 outputs
Outputs from BMC Health Services Research
#630
of 4,255 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#32,324
of 232,698 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Health Services Research
#17
of 158 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,861,153 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 89th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 4,255 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 6.4. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 232,698 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 86% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 158 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its contemporaries.