This study presents national estimates on the health, preventive health care, and health care access of adult women with disabilities. We compared women with 1 or 2 functional limitations (FLs) and ≥3 FLs with women with no FLs. Topics covered included demographic characteristics, selected reported health measures, selected clinical preventive services, and selected access to care indicators and health care coverage.
Estimates in this report were based on data from the 1994–1995 National Health Interview Survey, Supplement on Disability (NHIS-D). The sample size for women ≥18 years of age used in producing the estimates from the combined 1994 and 1995 NHIS-D was 77,762.
An estimated 16% of women ≥18 years of age had difficulty with at least 1 FL. Women with FLs were less likely to rate their health as excellent or very good and more likely to report their health as fair or poor when compared with women with no FLs. Women with FLs were also more likely to report being a current smoker, having hypertension, being overweight, and experiencing mental health problems. Among women ≥65 years of age, those with FLs were also less likely to have received Pap smear tests within the past year and those with ≥3 FLs were less likely to have received mammograms within the past year than women with no FLs. Women with ≥3 FLs were more likely to report being unable to get general medical care, dental care, prescription medicines, or eyeglasses, regardless of age group, compared with women with no FLs. The main reasons reported for being unable to receive general care were financial problems or limitations in insurance. These findings suggest that increased attention to the health care needs of women with disabilities from researchers, clinicians, and public health professionals is warranted.
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Frances M. Chevarley, PhD, is a senior survey statistician in the Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends at the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Her disability research focuses on health care for persons with disabilities and disability measurement in national surverys.
JoAnn M. Thierry, PhD, is a behavioral scientist in the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her research focuses on health promotion for women with disabilities, health communication, and the prevention of secondary conditions.
Carol J. Gill, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Deparment of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Director of Graduate Studies for the Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Disability Studies. Her research focuses on disability identity development, health service experiences of women with disabilities, bioethical issues, and professional training.
A. Blythe Ryerson, MPH, is an epidemiologist in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her current research focuses on the clinical patterns of care for women diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer.
Margaret A. Nosek, PhD, is Executive Director of the Center for Research on Women with Disabilities and Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine. Her research focuses on the health of women with disabilities, particularly health promotion, eHealth interventions, and access to health care.
Accepted: October 6, 2006
Received in revised form: September 27, 2006
Received: December 5, 2005
© 2006 Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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- CorrectionWomen's Health IssuesVol. 17Issue 1
- PreviewPlease note the following corrections to the article, “Health, Preventive Health Care, and Health Care Access Among Women with Disabilities in the 1994-1995 National Health Interview Survey, Supplement on Disability,” by Frances M. Chevarley et al that appeared in the November/December 2006 (Vol. 16, No. 6) issue of Women’s Health Issues: