Background A primary means of social connection is visiting friends and families in their homes. Visitability is designing houses in a way that enables people to visit others' homes regardless of physical limitations or use of mobility assistive devices.
Objective The goals of this study were to develop a set of questions about visitability that could be used for surveillance and to assess the prevalence and correlates of visitability features in Florida.
Methods We added five questions to the 2011 Florida Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (n = 12,399 respondents) and used complementary log-log regression models to estimate the prevalence ratio of each visitability feature.
Results The prevalence of visitability features in Florida homes was high for respondents with and without disabilities, though there was variation by visitability feature. A level entrance to the home and wide doorways were present in most respondents' homes (84.9% and 86.2%, respectively), while a main floor bathroom (59.6%) and a zero-step entrance (45.4%) were reported less commonly. People with a disability were less likely to report that their own home had doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair compared to people without a disability (PR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.80-0.95). Visitability features were less common in households with lower income and also in trailers or mobile homes than in detached single-family homes.
Conclusions The survey questions used in this study could be implemented in other states to measure and track visitability and monitor progress toward the Healthy People 2020 goal. Building or retro-fitting homes to include visitability features could increase the participation and inclusion of people with disabilities in community life.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health