Health Services Utilization After Induced Abortions in Ontario: A Comparison Between Community Clinics and Hospitals
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The purpose of this study was to compare postabortion health services utilization of hospital abortion patients with community clinic abortion patients using administrative databases. The study was a retrospective cohort study. The study group consisted of patients with induced abortions (n = 41,039) performed in hospitals or community clinics recorded in the 1995 Ontario Health Insurance Plan claims (OHIP) database. An age-matched cohort of 39,220 women who did not undergo induced abortions was selected from the same data source to serve as controls. The main outcome measures were health services utilization indicators constructed from OHIP data within 3 months postabortion from office consultations, emergency room consultations, and hospital admissions. Hospitalization indicators were constructed from Canadian Institute for Health Information hospital discharge data within 3 months postabortion and included data on hospitalizations for infection, certain surgical events, or psychiatric problems. Postabortion health services utilization and hospitalization were higher in the patient population, regardless of service location, than in the age-matched cohort. Within the abortion patient population, hospital day-surgery patients had higher rates of postabortion utilization and hospitalization than did community clinic patients. Multivariate analysis revealed that hospital day surgery patients had a higher risk of subsequent post-abortion hospitalizations for infections (odds ratio [OR] 1.67, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.23-2.28), surgical events (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.30-3.24) and psychiatric problems (OR 2.65, 95% CI 1.77-3.98) than community clinic patients. The rates of postabortion health services utilization and risk of hospitalization were lower in community clinic abortion patients than in hospital day-surgery patients. However, it is not possible to fully control for important confounding variables when using these administrative data.
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