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Medical Travel Patterns of Residents in the Delaware Valley

Authors: Yohsiang Hsu*,
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Transportation Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: Access to healthcare, travel survey, barriers to care, travel time
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Travel times are one metric used to determine accessibility to locations providing healthcare and medical services. One drawback to this methodology is the lack of “ground-truthing” as to whether or not the travel times used in research are suitable representations for the populations in question. One strategy to determine the appropriate travel times for a specific group of people is to analyze completed trips of that group. This study uses travel survey data collected by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to explore the health related travel behavior of residents in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer counties in New Jersey. Trips labeled as medical in nature were extracted from the overall travel survey and processed using ArcMap to determine the travel time of each trip based on the United States street network. Travel times were then categorized into 15 minutes or less, between 15 and 30 minutes, or greater than 30 minutes. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the demographic information of the individuals that completed each trip to determine if statistically significant differences exist between the groups of people that fell under each of the travel time limits.

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