Geographic distribution, Geographic information system, Healthcare accessibility, Healthcare equity, Social determinants of health
Citation Information :
Mirochnik K, Nassour N, Hendriks JR, Ranganathan N, Lucaciu A, Waryasz GR, Ashkani-Esfahani S. Is There a Correlation Between the Driving Distance to Healthcare Facilities and Postoperative Complications After Achilles Tendon Rupture Surgical Repair? A Geospatial Study. J Foot Ankle Surg Asia-Pacific 2023; 10 (1):198-203.
Background: Geospatial access to healthcare is defined as the ability of patients to obtain healthcare services based on their locations. Therefore, we aimed to investigate patients’ proximity to healthcare and its correlation with the complications of surgically treated Achilles tendon rupture (ATR) including venous thromboembolism (VTE), rerupture, and wound problems.
Methods: We included 426 patients who lived in the United States (US) Tri-State Area with surgically treated for ATR. We used patient and hospital addresses and zip codes to calculate the distances to healthcare centers. The Shapiro–Wilk test was used to determine normal distribution. Mann–Whitney U test was used to compare the groups with and without complication. The point biserial correlation test was used to determine any correlations between driving distance and the incidence of complications (p < 0.05 was considered significant).
Results: The average driving distance to the patient’s specific healthcare center was 62.16 ± 76.54 km. There was no significant difference between the distances for patients with and without overall complications (p = 0.65), with and without VTE (p = 0.70), with and without rerupture (p = 0.84), and with and without wound problems (p = 0.36). No correlation between complications and the distance to healthcare centers was found (p = 0.65).
Conclusion: Geospatial information is important within the context of healthcare accessibility and can provide crucial guidance to healthcare planning for patients and healthcare policymakers. Although this study showed that driving distance to healthcare facilities did not lead to significantly higher complication rates amongst ATR patients, it does not resolve the need for further studies looking at a larger population and wider geographical segments.
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