Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic

Access to Care

  • Charles Edward Begley
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_10

Access to care is defined for an individual or population as the ability to obtain preventive, primary, and tertiary healthcare as needed for optimal health. The US Institute of Medicine Committee on Monitoring Access to medical care defined access as: the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best possible health outcomes. Access to care is measured through population surveys or statistical data that relate actual healthcare use to various need and other personal, health system, and environmental factors that tend to reduce or enhance healthcare seeking behavior.

In understanding access to healthcare and social services, it is useful to consider the variety of different predisposing, enabling, and need factors that act independently and together to influence patterns of use and outcomes. Predisposing factors include environmental and patient characteristics such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, education, occupation, environmental risk factors, and...

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Suggested Readings

  1. Andersen, R. M. (1995). Revisiting the behavioral model and access to medical care: Does it matter? Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 36, 1–10.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Andersen, R. M., & Aday, L. A. (1978). Access to medical care in the U.S.: Realized and potential. Medical Care, 16, 533–546.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Andersen, R. M., & Davidson, P. L. (2001). Improving access to care in America: Individual and contextual indicators. In R. Andersen, T. Rice, & J. Kominski (Eds.), Changing the U.S. health care system: Key issues in health services, policy, and management. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  4. Burneo, J. G., Black, L., Knowlton, R. C., Faught, E., Morawetz, R., & Kuzniecky, R. I. (2005). Racial disparities in the use of surgical treatment for intractable temporal lobe epilepsy. Neurology, 64, 50–54.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Committee on Monitoring Access to Personal Health Care Services, Institute of Medicine. (1993). Access to health care in America (Millman, M. Ed.). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  6. Davidson, P. L., Andersen, R. M., Wyn, R., & Brown, E. R. (2004). A framework for evaluating safety-net and other community-level factors on access for low-income populations. Inquiry, 41, 21–38.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Shi, L., & Stevens, G. D. (2005). Vulnerable populations in the United States. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. Center for American Progress, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  2. Center for Communmity Health Studies, University of Southern California, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  3. Kaiser Family Foundation, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  4. Migration Policy Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  5. Pan-American Health Organization (Organización Panamericana de la Salud), Washington, DCGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles Edward Begley
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science CenterHoustonUSA