The tyranny of distance - mapping accessibility to polysomnography services across Australia

Woods, C., Usher, K., Edwards, A., Jersmann, H., and Maguire, G. (2015) The tyranny of distance - mapping accessibility to polysomnography services across Australia. Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin, 15 (3). pp. 1-9.

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Objectives: To identify service gaps by mapping accessibility to diagnostic sleep studies across Australia using a Geographic Information System (GIS).

Methods: Census-level data stratified by statistical areas were mapped to measure accessibility to polysomnography (PSG) based on geographical location of patients. All adult publicly funded home and laboratory-based PSG performed in Australia in 2012 were mapped to statistical areas based on patient address at the time of the sleep study.

Results: Sleep health care is extremely under-resourced in central and northern Australia. For those living in areas classified as remote and very remote, geographical distance appears to be a barrier to the accessibility of specialist sleep services.

Conclusions: Remote and very remote communities continue to experience inequity in health care in general and in accessibility to specialist services in particular. Attention needs to be given to barriers which may limit equitable accessibility.

Implications: Residing in remote communities with limited or no public transport options is likely to have a particularly significantly impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' ability to access PSG.

Item ID: 39358
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1445-7253
Keywords: Geographic Information Systems; geographic mapping; health services geographic accessibility; polysomnography; sleep apnoea; Australia
Funders: JCU Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research (CNMR)
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2015 00:06
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1102 Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology > 110203 Respiratory Diseases @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920115 Respiratory System and Diseases (incl. Asthma) @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 50%
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