Project Title

Geographic Differences in Contraception Access and Utilization Within Family Planning Organizations in South Carolina

Authors' Affiliations

Glory Okwori, Department of Health Services Management and Policy, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Dr. Nathan Hale, Department of Health Services Management and Policy, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Dr. Mike Smith, Department of Health Services Management and Policy, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Dr. Kate Beatty, Department of Health Services Management and Policy, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-12-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

4-12-2019 2:30 PM

Poster Number

87

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Health Services Management & Policy

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Nathan Hale

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Doctoral

Project's Category

Maternal Health, Reproductive Health Services, Rural Health

Abstract Text

Introduction: Unintended pregnancies are associated with poor health and economic outcomes. The use of modern contraceptive methods has been proven to be effective in reducing unintended pregnancy. Historical barriers in access to care experienced by rural communities suggest that rural women may also experience barriers in accessing reproductive health services. However, little is known about geographic variation in reproductive health services. The primary aim of this study is to examine rural and urban differences in access to and utilization of contraceptive methods among publicly funded clinics in South Carolina. Methods: A cross-sectional study of all Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC) family planning clinics in South Carolina offering reproductive health services in 2017 was used to examine access to and utilization of contraceptive methods. Administrators or organizational representatives with knowledge of clinic operations were asked to complete a survey specific to the provision of contraceptive services. Two outcomes from the survey were of primary interest. Access to a full range of contraceptive methods was operationalized as a dichotomous variable reflecting whether or not an individual method was directly available on-site. Utilization was defined as the percent of women using individual methods, relative to the overall distribution of women receiving contraceptive services. The Rural-Urban Continuum Codes (RUCC) were used to categorize clinic as rural or urban. RUCC codes 1, 2 and 3 were classified as urban, while codes 4 through 8 were classified as rural. Contraceptive methods were examined individually and aggregated into 3 groups: highly effective reversible methods, moderately effective methods and least effective methods. Bivariate relationships between the two-level RUCC variable and provision of contraceptive methods were examined using a Chi-square test for independence. An independent t-test was also used to examine differences in contraceptive utilization based on rural or urban clinic designation. Results: The study population consisted of 105 clinics, with 60% of clinics in urban areas and 40% in rural areas. Across the state of South Carolina, 75% of clinics offer highly effective contraceptive methods without having to schedule a follow-up visit to receive the method. Although not statistically significant, among clinics that offered highly effective reversible contraceptives on site, 79% of such methods are available in urban communities compared to 74% in rural and communities (p=0.49). About 12% of women at urban clinics utilized highly effective reversible methods compared to 7% of women at rural clinics (p=0.02). This appears to be driven by less access to and utilization of hormonal implants (9% among urban clinics compared to 5% among rural). Conclusion: Access to highly effective methods through publicly funded providers is similar in rural and urban communities; however, rural/urban differences in the utilization of highly effective methods, specifically implants, was noted. Given historical disparities in access and transportation barriers among rural population, decreased access and utilization of methods that allow for longer durations between provider visits could be problematic. These findings suggest that increased efforts ensuring access to long acting reversible contraception in rural clinics is warranted.

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Apr 12th, 9:00 AM Apr 12th, 2:30 PM

Geographic Differences in Contraception Access and Utilization Within Family Planning Organizations in South Carolina

Ballroom

Introduction: Unintended pregnancies are associated with poor health and economic outcomes. The use of modern contraceptive methods has been proven to be effective in reducing unintended pregnancy. Historical barriers in access to care experienced by rural communities suggest that rural women may also experience barriers in accessing reproductive health services. However, little is known about geographic variation in reproductive health services. The primary aim of this study is to examine rural and urban differences in access to and utilization of contraceptive methods among publicly funded clinics in South Carolina. Methods: A cross-sectional study of all Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC) family planning clinics in South Carolina offering reproductive health services in 2017 was used to examine access to and utilization of contraceptive methods. Administrators or organizational representatives with knowledge of clinic operations were asked to complete a survey specific to the provision of contraceptive services. Two outcomes from the survey were of primary interest. Access to a full range of contraceptive methods was operationalized as a dichotomous variable reflecting whether or not an individual method was directly available on-site. Utilization was defined as the percent of women using individual methods, relative to the overall distribution of women receiving contraceptive services. The Rural-Urban Continuum Codes (RUCC) were used to categorize clinic as rural or urban. RUCC codes 1, 2 and 3 were classified as urban, while codes 4 through 8 were classified as rural. Contraceptive methods were examined individually and aggregated into 3 groups: highly effective reversible methods, moderately effective methods and least effective methods. Bivariate relationships between the two-level RUCC variable and provision of contraceptive methods were examined using a Chi-square test for independence. An independent t-test was also used to examine differences in contraceptive utilization based on rural or urban clinic designation. Results: The study population consisted of 105 clinics, with 60% of clinics in urban areas and 40% in rural areas. Across the state of South Carolina, 75% of clinics offer highly effective contraceptive methods without having to schedule a follow-up visit to receive the method. Although not statistically significant, among clinics that offered highly effective reversible contraceptives on site, 79% of such methods are available in urban communities compared to 74% in rural and communities (p=0.49). About 12% of women at urban clinics utilized highly effective reversible methods compared to 7% of women at rural clinics (p=0.02). This appears to be driven by less access to and utilization of hormonal implants (9% among urban clinics compared to 5% among rural). Conclusion: Access to highly effective methods through publicly funded providers is similar in rural and urban communities; however, rural/urban differences in the utilization of highly effective methods, specifically implants, was noted. Given historical disparities in access and transportation barriers among rural population, decreased access and utilization of methods that allow for longer durations between provider visits could be problematic. These findings suggest that increased efforts ensuring access to long acting reversible contraception in rural clinics is warranted.