An enhanced two-step floating catchment area (E2SFCA) method for measuring spatial accessibility to primary care physicians

Health Place. 2009 Dec;15(4):1100-7. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2009.06.002. Epub 2009 Jun 18.


This paper presents an enhancement of the two-step floating catchment area (2SFCA) method for measuring spatial accessibility, addressing the problem of uniform access within the catchment by applying weights to different travel time zones to account for distance decay. The enhancement is proved to be another special case of the gravity model. When applying this enhanced 2SFCA (E2SFCA) to measure the spatial access to primary care physicians in a study area in northern Illinois, we find that it reveals spatial accessibility pattern that is more consistent with intuition and delineates more spatially explicit health professional shortage areas. It is easy to implement in GIS and straightforward to interpret.

MeSH terms

  • Catchment Area, Health*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Physicians, Family / supply & distribution*
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Social Class*