SSR-2: Updating a Systematic Scoping Review

The purpose of this study is to identify gaps in recent research that focues on how people with disabilities use clinical preventive services.


Good health is a foundation to participating in community life, and receipt of clinical preventive services is a key element to ensuring that everyone, including people with disabilities, maintains good health.  This importance is reflected in the International Classification of Functioning, Disease and Impairment’s linking of health with functioning, which impacts the ability of people with disabilities to participate in society.

Civil rights guaranteed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) have increased opportunities for community living and participation, and raised the expectations of people with disabilities regarding access to community sites and services, including healthcare services.

Additionally, attention to health promotion for this population has been heightened by government initiatives emphasizing the notion that people with disabilities can be healthy and highlighting health disparities they experience.

In the last two decades, national and state efforts have increased to collect health-related data about people with disabilities (e.g., BRFSS) and to devise evidence-based programs to address health disparities (e.g., Living Well with a Disability).

Increasingly, research examines systems- and individual-level variables regarding healthcare access and health outcomes among subgroups of people with disabilities, although healthcare inequities persist. Due to the multiplicity of systems and individual factors (i.e., the diversity of disability types and intensity, and socioeconomic and geographic factors) involved in healthcare use and access, this body of literature is dispersed. There is a need to synthesize it, identify gaps, and disseminate the results.

Purpose of the Review

This systematic scoping literature review on receipt of clinical preventive services among people with disabilities will explore the strong link between health and community living for people with disabilities.

We will extend a systematic scoping review conducted by the NIDRR-funded Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP). This DRRP examined the literature published from 2000-2009, inclusive. We will extend their review by two years (2010-2011), using the key questions, key variables, databases, and operational plan they established.

Although the DRRP on Health Disparities project has made advances in understanding the barriers to community participation experienced by people with disabilities, extending their systematic scoping review to include the most recent publications will ensure that the RTC/CL’s subsequent interventions are well informed.

Anticipated Outcomes

We expect to produce a review that identifies gaps in the literature regarding healthcare utilization and receipt of clinical prevention services by people with disabilities that may explicate resulting health disparities.

Research has shown that access to health care and clinical prevention services in particular can significantly impact the health of people with disabilities, and that these factors can substantially impact continuity of community living for this population. RTC/CL and DRRP investigators will compare outcomes and consider combining them to add strength and numbers to the review.

The RTC will disseminate results in a variety of ways to ensure their access and use by the research community. The systematic scoping review results will be provided to RTC/CL researchers to inform their projects in subsequent years of the Center’s work and to other disability researchers.

It will also be written up in brief, snapshot format for use by consumer advocates, advocacy organizations, and policymakers in advocacy efforts and policy formation.

More Information on the Design of the Review

Project Investigators:

Glen White, PhD, Megan O’Brien, PhD, Dot Nary, PhD, and Amalia Monroe-Gluck, MS