We mapped mobile medical clinic (MMC) clients for spatial distribution of their self-reported locations and travel behaviors to better understand health-seeking and utilization patterns of medically vulnerable populations in Connecticut. Contrary to distance decay literature, we found that a small but significant proportion of clients was traveling substantial distances to receive repeat care at the MMC. Of 8404 total clients, 90.2% lived within 5 miles of a MMC site, yet mean utilization was highest (5.3 visits per client) among those living 11-20 miles of MMCs, primarily for those with substance use disorders. Of clients making >20 visits, 15.0% traveled >10 miles, suggesting that a significant minority of clients traveled to MMC sites because of their need-specific healthcare services, which are not only free but available at an acceptable and accommodating environment. The findings of this study contribute to the important research on healthcare utilization among vulnerable population by focusing on broader dimensions of accessibility in a setting where both mobile and fixed healthcare services coexist.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.