Spatial accessibility to health care services among children with cerebral palsy in Johor, Peninsular Malaysia

Geospat Health. 2021 Oct 19;16(2). doi: 10.4081/gh.2021.987.


Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common causes of disability in childhood, leading to functional limitations and poor nutritional status. Families with CP children face challenges in providing proper care. Thus, accessibility of CP patients to health facilities is important to ensure that they can maintain regular visits to health facilities for proper treatment and care. The current study aimed to map the spatial distribution of CP in Johor, Malaysia and measure the accessibility of CP patients to nearby hospitals, health clinics and community-based rehabilitation centres. The study is based on CP cases in 2017 obtained from the Department of Social Welfare, Malaysia and analysed using the average nearest neighbour, buffer analysis and Kernel Density Estimation. Results indicate that there is generally good access to health care services for many of the CP children in Johor, but for 25% of those living more than 10 km away from the health clinics or community-based rehabilitation centres, regular visits can be a problem. This information should be used for targeted intervention and planning for health care strategies. Furthermore, information on hospital accessibility of CP children would allow for planning of proper and regular treatment for these patients. The study has shown that it is possible to improve the understanding of the distribution of CP cases by integrating spatial analysis using geographical information systems without relying on official information about the density of populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Health Facilities
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Spatial Analysis