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Does ambulance use differ between geographic areas? A survey of ambulance use in sparsely and densely populated areas
University of Borås, School of Health Science.
University of Borås, School of Health Science.
2009 (English)In: American Journal of Emergency Medicine, ISSN 0735-6757, E-ISSN 1532-8171, Vol. 27, no 2, 202-211 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Aim: The aim of this study was to analyze possible differences in the use of ambulance service between densely and sparsely populated areas. Methods: This study was designed as a 2-step consecutive study that included the ambulance service in 4 different areas with different geographical characteristics. A specific questionnaire was distributed to the enrolled ambulance services. Completion of one questionnaire was required for each ambulance mission, that is, I per patient, during the study periods. For calculations of P values, geographic area was treated as a 4-graded ordered variable, from the most densely populated to the most sparsely populated (ie, urban-suburban-rural-remote rural area). Statistical tests used were Mann-Whitney U test and Spearman rank statistic, when appropriate. All P values are 2 tailed and considered significant if below .01. Results: The medical status of the patients in the prehospital care situation was more often severe in the sparsely populated areas. In addition, drugs were more often used in the ambulances in these areas. In the sparsely populated areas, ambulance use was more frequently judged as the appropriate mode of transportation compared with the more densely populated areas. Conclusions: Our study suggests that the appropriateness of the use of ambulance is not optimal. Furthermore, our data suggest that geographical factors, that is, population density, is related to inappropriate use. Thus, strategies to improve the appropriateness of ambulance use should probably take geographical aspects into consideration. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Inc.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WB Saunders Co. , 2009. Vol. 27, no 2, 202-211 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-2581DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2008.01.012Local ID: 2320/5014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-2581DiVA: diva2:870675
Available from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-11-13

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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