Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Summer 2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Committee Chair

Rebecca Pearson

Second Committee Member

Bernadette Jungblut

Third Committee Member

M. Shawn Reichert

Abstract

Access and utilization of health care is essential for the maintenance of overall health and prevention of chronic diseases. Several factors contribute to healthcare access disparities, including race, ethnicity, poverty, and rurality. Mobile healthcare clinics can be used to travel to medically underserved areas and reduce healthcare disparities. This rapid review examined the scope and impact of mobile healthcare units, and their use in reducing healthcare disparities. The exploration was done in 4 stages (1) identification of existing and relevant research studies, (2) selection of studies using prespecified eligibility criteria, (3) extraction of data from collected studies, and (4) summarization and interpretation of results. The rapid review located 54 articles, which were later reduced to 26 after screening and criteria checks. The review indicated that mobile healthcare clinics provide a variety of health care services, such as preventative medicine, primary care, screening services, dental services, and health education. These clinics also increase access and utilization rates to medically underserved communities. Finally, mobile clinics reduce the number of preventable emergency department visits as well as having significant other cost-saving impacts through the other preventative services provided.

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