Identifier

etd-04092014-112705

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geography and Anthropology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Accessibility is a term used to define the relative ease by which activities or services, such as work, recreation, shopping, education or healthcare, can be accessed from a given location. It is an important locational amenity for residents. This study examines accessibility to over 100 pharmacies in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 2010. Accessibility to a pharmacy is critical for a community as it is the prime source to get medication and other health services. First, two Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based methods, namely the proximal area method and the two-step floating catchment area (2SFCA) method, are used to measure the spatial accessibility to pharmacies for residents at the census block group level. Second, the disparities of spatial accessibility across major racial-ethnic groups are examined in order to assess whether minorities disproportionally suffer from poorer access. Finally, a statistical test is developed to verify whether the racial-ethnic disparities in accessibility are statistically significant. The study indicates that higher percentages of African-Americans are located in areas with shorter travel time to their nearest pharmacies than Whites, but the pharmacies in these areas serve more people (i.e., fewer pharmacies per 10,000 residents). Seniors, particularly those of 75 years or older, tend to be disproportionally concentrated in areas with pharmacies that are closer and less crowded. The results have significant implications for public policy.

Date

2014

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wang, Fahui

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