The predictors of access to health services for people with disabilities: A cross sectional study in Iranian context

Behzad Karami Matin, Mohammad Kamali, Heather J. Williamson, Fardin Moradi, Shahin Solatni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: In developing countries, people with disabilities (PWD) are more likely to have unequitable access to health care services than their counterparts without disabilities. Access to health care is a multidimensional concept and PWD experience various barriers to use health care. This quantitative study explored the predictors and determents of access to health care for PWD in an Iranian context. Methods: Data were collected from a cross sectional study conducted in Tehran in 2017. A total of 403 adults with physical and/or intellectual disabilities were selected using census method. The data on PWD were collected from 14 rehabilitation centers affiliated to Welfare Organization and Red Crescent Organization. The self–report World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0) was used to collect data on disability status. T test, ANOVA, and multiple linear regressions were used to determine factors influencing access to health care for PWD. Significance level was set at 5%. Also, SPSS software version 20.0 was used for data analysis. Results: The mean of access to health care among people with intellectual disabilities (mean: 61.77, 95% confidence interval (CI):59.20, 64.35) was significantly lower than their counterparts with physical disabilities (Mean: 67.97, 95% CI: 65.26, 70.69). The results of multiple linear regression analysis showed that in the affordability dimension, type of disability, marital status, and supplemental health insurance could predict access to health services for PWD. In availability dimension, only location predicted the outcome variable significantly. Also, location and type of disability were considered to be potential predictors of access to health services in acceptability dimension. Conclusion: The results indicate that various factors can limit access to health services for PWD. To achieve universal health coverage, vulnerable groups and their needs should be identified to increase equitable access to health care services. Also, the health care system should pay more attention to demographic differences when planning and providing affordable and acceptable health care for PWD. Finally, the role of the government as the heath stewardship is vital to promote health care access for PWD in Iran.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • Access to health care
  • Disability
  • Health disparities
  • Iran
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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