More training needed for physicians to improve care for people with disabilities

16 December 2022

According to a recent study of American physicians funded by the National Institutes of Health of the US Department of Health and Human Service, some physicians are refusing to provide care services for patients with disabilities because they lack the knowledge required to care for them.

Moreover, according to many physicians surveyed, they had limited training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Some in the study said they could not satisfy the requirements of the ADA.

All participants announced a lack of accommodations for providing suitable health care to people with disabilities, such as inaccessible buildings and a lack of proper equipment. They also said they and their staff lacked the knowledge, experience, and skills to care for people with disabilities.

No participants could provide written materials in Braille, and others could only provide printed materials in large type.

The study team summarized that education among physicians should be improved to increase health care access for people with disabilities as well as the accessibility of physicians’ offices so that the equipment needed to care for them was more available.

The team calls for more efforts to better understand and remove the barriers to caring for people with disabilities and improvements in medical education and training to better prepare physicians to care for individuals with disabilities.

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