Geospatial Analyses of Accessibility to Down Syndrome Specialty Care

Published:December 05, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2019.10.058

      Objective

      To assess whether the location of 71 Down syndrome specialty care clinics in the US make them inaccessible to a considerable portion of the American population.

      Study design

      Using a population-based representative sample of 64 761 individuals with Down syndrome and a Google Maps Application Programming Interface Python program, we calculated the distance each patient with Down syndrome would need to travel to reach the nearest clinic. Two conceptualizations were used—the state fluidity method, which allowed an individual to cross state lines for care and the state boundary method, which required individuals receive care in their state of residence.

      Results

      Almost 1 in 5 US individuals face significant geographic obstacles to receiving specialty care. This finding is especially prominent in the South, where >33% of patients with Down syndrome must travel >2 hours to reach their nearest clinic.

      Conclusions

      Down syndrome specialty care clinics are inaccessible to a considerable portion of American society. Innovative usage of technology might be useful to minimize these disparities in healthcare accessibility.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      API ( Application Programming Interface)
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      Linked Article

      • Mortality Among Children with Down syndrome in Hong Kong: A Population-Based Cohort Study from Birth
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