Measuring spatial accessibility of health care providers – introduction of a variable distance decay function within the floating catchment area (FCA) method

  • We integrated recent improvements within the floating catchment area (FCA) method family into an integrated ‘iFCA`method. Within this method we focused on the distance decay function and its parameter. So far only distance decay functions with constant parameters have been applied. Therefore, we developed a variable distance decay function to be used within the FCA method. We were able to replace the impedance coefficient β by readily available distribution parameter (i.e. median and standard deviation (SD)) within a logistic based distance decay function. Hence, the function is shaped individually for every single population location by the median and SD of all population-to-provider distances within a global catchment size. Theoretical application of the variable distance decay function showed conceptually sound results. Furthermore, the existence of effective variable catchment sizes defined by the asymptotic approach to zero of the distance decay function was revealed, satisfying the need for variable catchment sizes. The application of the iFCA method within an urban case study in Berlin (Germany) confirmed the theoretical fit of the suggested method. In summary, we introduced for the first time, a variable distance decay function within an integrated FCA method. This function accounts for individual travel behaviors determined by the distribution of providers. Additionally, the function inherits effective variable catchment sizes and therefore obviates the need for determining variable catchment sizes separately.
Author:Jan BauerORCiDGND, Jan David Alexander GronebergORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):PLoS One
Place of publication:Lawrence, Kan.
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2016/07/08
Date of first Publication:2016/07/08
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/09/15
Issue:(7): e0159148
Page Number:17
First Page:1
Last Page:17
Copyright: © 2016 Bauer, Groneberg. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0