Transportation, Medical Care Utilization and Health Intervention Exposure among an African American Church Population

Authors: Noah Price*, University of Missouri Kansas City, Jannette Berkley-Patton, University of Missouri Kansas City, Tacia Burgin, University of Missouri Kansas City , Salome Wilfred, University of Missouri Kansas City , Carole Bowe Thompson, University of Missouri Kansas City
Topics: Health and Medical, Transportation Geography
Keywords: Public Transportation, African American, Health Care
Session Type: Virtual Guided Poster
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 53
Presentation File: Download

In 2017, 5.8 million Americans delayed medical care due to transportation barriers. Studies show that African Americans (AAs) experience twice the rate of transportation barriers as Whites. Nineteen percent of AA households lack access to a personal vehicle, and AAs using public bus systems are twice as likely to report a missed appointment. Yet, studies show environmental and structural interventions can reduce missed appointments. It is critical to understand possible transportation barriers to determine the most appropriate intervention strategies to improve access to health services. Using baseline data from Faith Influencing Transformation (FIT) project, an AA church-based intervention, this study examined relationships between transportation mode and access to annual doctor visits and exposure to FIT’s culturally-tailored intervention strategies (sermons, bulletins, weight loss classes). The participants (N=66) were primarily female (90.9%) with an average age of 57 (SD=10.9). Most (95.5%) had vehicle access, while 3% used public transportation, and 1.5% relied on others. An independent t-test indicated no significant transportation barriers to doctor visits among those with and without vehicles t(64)=-1.133,p=.261. Correlational analysis indicated that exposure to FIT intervention strategies was negatively related to doctor visits (r =-.313,p <.05). These findings indicated no transportation barriers to medical care, possibly due to the high percentage of those with a car, suggesting the advantage of personal vehicle access. Also, intervention exposure was related to doctor visits. This finding needs further exploration to understand the impact of FIT strategies on health service utilization. Future work could examine multiple interventions to mitigate AA transportation barriers.

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