Health care access and use among handicapped students in five public school systems

Med Care. 1986 Jan;24(1):1-13. doi: 10.1097/00005650-198601000-00001.


The authors studied the health care access and utilization patterns for a stratified random sample of 1,726 special education students in five large metropolitan school systems. Overall, 7% of the special education students had no regular source of care, 26% had no regular physician, and 38% had not visited a physician in the previous year; 13% had no health insurance. Each of these measures was worse for nonwhite and poorer children as well as for those whose mothers who had less formal education. Insurance coverage was associated with physician visits, with 45% of the uninsured children visiting a physician compared with 63% of those with public insurance and 66% of those with private insurance. Odds ratios for all health care access and use measures showed striking geographic variations. Thus, even for children identified as handicapped by their communities, barriers to health care are evident and are significantly greater for groups traditionally at risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Education, Special
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States