Mobility impairments and use of screening and preventive services

Am J Public Health. 2000 Jun;90(6):955-61. doi: 10.2105/ajph.90.6.955.


Objectives: Primary care for people with disabilities often concentrates on underlying debilitating disorders to the exclusion of preventive health concerns. This study examined use of screening and preventive services among adults with mobility problems (difficulty walking, climbing stairs, or standing for extended periods).

Methods: The responses of non-institutionalized adults to the 1994 National Health Interview Survey, including the disability and Healthy People 2000 supplements, were analyzed. Multivariable logistic regressions predicted service use on the basis of mobility level, demographic characteristics, and indicators of health care access.

Results: Ten percent of the sample reported some mobility impairment; 3% experienced major problems. People with mobility problems were as likely as others to receive pneumonia and influenza immunizations but were less likely to receive other services. Adjusted odds ratios for women with major mobility difficulties were 0.6 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.4, 0.9) for the Papanicolaou test and 0.7 (95% CI = 0.5, 0.9) for mammography.

Conclusions: More attention should be paid to screening and preventive services for people with mobility difficulties. Shortened appointment times, physically inaccessible care sites, and inadequate equipment could further compromise preventive care for this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • National Center for Health Statistics, U.S.
  • Preventive Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Walking