Access to healthcare following serious injury: Perspectives of allied health professionals in urban and regional settings

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Abstract

Barriers to accessing healthcare exist following serious injury. These issues are not well understood and may have dire consequences for healthcare utilisation and patients’ long-term re-covery. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore factors perceived by allied health professionals to affect access to healthcare beyond hospital discharge for people with serious injuries in urban and regional Victoria, Australia. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted with community-based allied health professionals involved in post-discharge care for people following serious injury across different urban and regional areas. Interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Many allied health professionals perceived that complex funding systems and health services restrict access in both urban and regional areas. Limited availability of necessary health professionals was consistently reported, which particularly restricted access to mental healthcare. Access to healthcare was also felt to be hindered by a reliance on others for transporta-tion, costs, emotional stress and often lengthy time of travel. Across urban and regional areas, a number of factors limit access to healthcare. Better understanding of health service delivery models and areas for change, including the use of technology and telehealth, may improve equitable access to healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1230
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Allied health
  • Delivery of healthcare
  • Geography
  • Health services accessibility
  • Qualitative research
  • Rural population
  • Urban population
  • Wounds and injuries

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