Background: Access to healthcare contributes to the attainment of health and is a fundamental human right. People with disabilities are believed to experience widespread poor access to healthcare services, due to inaccessible environments and discriminatory belief systems and attitudes. Qualitative data on these bar- riers has not previously been systematically reviewed. A meta-synthesis was undertaken of qualitative studies exploring the barriers to primary healthcare services experienced by people with disabilities in low- and mid- dle-income countries.
Methods: Six electronic databases were searched for relevant studies from 2000 to 2019. Forty-one eli- gible studies were identified.
Results: Findings suggest that the people with disabilities’ choice to seek healthcare services or not, as well as the quality of intervention provided by primary healthcare providers, are influenced by three types of barriers: cultural beliefs or attitudinal barriers, informational barriers, and practical or logis- tical barriers.
Conclusion: In order to achieve full health coverage at acceptable quality for people with disabilities, it is necessary not only to consider the different barriers, but also their combined effect on people with dis- abilities and their households. It is only then that more nuanced and effective interventions to improve access to primary healthcare, systematically addressing barriers, can be designed and implemented.