Barriers and facilitators to accessing health services: a qualitative study amongst people with disabilities in Cameroon and India


This study seeks to explore the factors which influence access to health care among adults with disabilities in Cameroon and India. A total of 61 semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of adults with vision, hearing or musculoskeletal impairments, using data from an earlier cross-sectional disability survey. In addition, 30 key informants were interviewed to provide contextual information about the local services and context.

Key themes that emerged included individual-level factors, understanding and beliefs about an impairment, and the nature of the impairment and interaction with environmental factors. At the community and household level, key themes were family dynamics and attitudes, economic factors, social inclusion and community participation. Intersectionality with gender and age were cross-cutting themes. Trust and acceptability of health service providers in India and poor understanding of referral processes in both countries were key service-level themes.

The study shows that the interaction of environmental and personal factors with the impairment and their levels of participation and inclusion in community structures, all contributed to the take up of services. It illustrated the need for a multi-faceted response to improve access to health services for people with disabilities.

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Publication details
Date published
29 March 2019
Original research