Access to dialysis services: A systematic mapping review based on geographical information systems

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Benyamin Hoseini
Nasser Bagheri
Behzad Kiani
Amirabbas Azizi
Hamed Tabesh
Mahmood Tara *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Mahmood Tara | smtara@gmail.com

Abstract

Equitable access to healthcare services constitutes one of the leading priorities of healthcare provision and access to dialysis services (ADS) has an essential impact on patients depending on renal dialysis. The many existing GIS-based ADS evaluations include various spatial and non-spatial factors affecting ADS. We systematically mapped and reviewed the available literature with reference to this area identifying gaps in current GIS-based ADS measurements and developing recommendations for future studies. A threestep, systematic mapping review of the available GIS-related evidence in PubMed, Embase, Web of science, Scopus, Science Direct and IEEE Xplore was performed in May 2016 and the information collected updated October 2017 by two independent selection processes. The quality of the studies was assessed using an informal, mixed-approach scoring system. Out of 1119 literature references identified, 36 were identified and used for final review after removal of duplicates, study screenings and applying inclusion/exclusion criteria. Given the contents of the selected studies, three study groups were identified and 41 factors with potential effects on ADS determined. These studies mainly addressed the potential and/or spatial aspects of ADS. Our systematic mapping review of the evidence revealed that current GIS-based measures of ADS tend to calculate potential ADS instead of a realized one. It was also noted that listed factors affecting ADS were mainly nonspatial bringing forth the hypothesis that designing an integrated ADS index could possibly produce better ADS score than those currently advocated. Some primary and secondary research suggestions are made and a list of recommendations offered.

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