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Integrating Spatial and Aspatial Factors in Measuring Accessibility to Primary Health Care Physicians: A Case Study of Aboriginal Population in Sudbury, Canada | Abstract
ISSN: 2161-0711

Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
Open Access

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Research Article

Integrating Spatial and Aspatial Factors in Measuring Accessibility to Primary Health Care Physicians: A Case Study of Aboriginal Population in Sudbury, Canada

Lu Wang* and Travis Tormala

Department of Geography, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Corresponding Author:
Lu Wang
Department of Geography
Ryerson University
350 Victoria Street, Toronto
Ontario, M5B 2K3, Canada
Tel: 416-979-50002689
Fax: 416-979-5362
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: January 23, 2014; Accepted Date: April 28, 2014; Published Date: April 30, 2014

Citation: Wang L, Tormala T (2014) Integrating Spatial and Aspatial Factors in Measuring Accessibility to Primary Health Care Physicians: A Case Study of Aboriginal Population in Sudbury, Canada. J Community Med Health Educ 4:284. doi: 10.4172/2161-0711.1000284

Copyright: © 2014 Wang L, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Heath care accessibility can be determined in both a spatial and aspatial context. While spatial access is the geographic restraints limiting one’s ability to access care, apatial access refers to the non-geographic constraints affecting access to care, typically measured by socio-economic factors. The paper presents a methodological framework to combine spatial and aspatial factors to assess the accessibility to primary care physicians. Attention is focused on the aboriginal population within an isolated city, Sudbury, in northern Ontario, Canada. A range of datasets were analyzed including the 2008 Canadian Medical Directory, 2006 census and 2008 DMTI road network data. Spatial accessibility of the aboriginal population to family physicians was measured using the enhanced two-step floating catchment area model that accounts for varying travel time thresholds associated with different travel time zones. The z-score-based aspatial scores were calculated at a DA level to reveal the highest and lowest concentrations of the aboriginal population in the study area. Combining the spatial and aspatial scores allows for problem census DAs to be determined where there are both low spatial scores and a high concentration of the aboriginal population. The methodology developed in this paper is flexible with the ability to be altered to fit different studies in different geographic regions. It provides results that are easy to interpret by health policy makers.

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