Research has consistently shown that access to healthcare services is poor for adults with learning disabilities and for those people who live in rural areas.
The researchers in this study set out to find out whether adults with learning disabilities who lived in rural areas were at a double disadvantage.
They looked at data from 39 rural and 633 urban participants in Scotland, collecting information from both face-to-face interviews and from notes kept in primary care.
They found that the sample of people from rural areas had significantly more contact with primary and secondary health care
They also found that contact with allied healthcare professionals (physiotherapists, Occupational therapists etc) was not significantly different. People in the rural sample were however more likely to have had recent contact with a dentist and an optician.
The authors conclude that their original idea that people in rural settings may have been at a disadvantage when it came to accessing healthcare was not found to be the case.
Access to healthcare services by people with intellectual disabilities: A rural-urban comparison, Nicholson L & Cooper, S in Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 15, 2, 115-130