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Table 1 Justifications for key decision points in the improvement of the 2SFCA method

From: The index of rural access: an innovative integrated approach for measuring primary care access

Decision point Justification
Initial catchment = 10 minutes (no decay) In the Australian rural context, 10 minutes is viewed as an initial impedance that presents as no discernible barrier
Outer catchment limit = 60 minutes The golden hour is a common rule of thumb, particularly in emergency care (which often is the primary care provider in rural Australia)
Distance decay occurs between 10 and 60 minutes An impedance greater than 10 minutes is viewed as a significant and increasing barrier in the Australian rural context
Access is capped at the nearest 100 services Populations are unlikely to access services beyond the nearest 100, thus capping provides a more realistic representation of the true catchment area
Step 1 (service) catchments are not always the same size Services within large rural towns frequently do serve the populations of surrounding small rural towns. In contrast, small rural towns are unlikely to serve the populations of nearby large rural towns.
  1. Different values for the initial catchment size (5 minutes, 15 minutes) and the capping level (50, 200) were also trialled. However, these were found to only make minimal difference to the overall access scores, the results of which are not shown in this paper.