Rural-Urban Differences in Three Domains of Access to Health Care Services

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Research staff:
Project funded:
September 2021
Project completed:
July 2023

Rural disparities in health care availability and accessibility have been frequently identified and quantified, and rural disparities in health care coverage have been identified as a means of operationalizing the domain of affordability. However, additional domains of health care access have been studied to a lesser extent, including other means of assessing affordability (delays in care due to cost), accommodation, and acceptability have not been frequently evaluated in population-based studies. We hypothesized that rural populations, particularly Black rural populations, would have less access to health care services as operationalized by variables available in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System health care access optional module.

Our goal was to evaluate rural-urban, racial/ethnic, and regional differences in access to care using a population-based survey through the following aims:

  1. To examine the rural-urban differences in affordability of health care overall and stratified by race/ethnicity.
  2. To assess the rural-urban differences in accommodation in health care overall and stratified by race/ethnicity.
  3. To determine the rural-urban differences in acceptability of health care overall and stratified by race/ethnicity.