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Does ambulance use differ between geographic areas? A survey of ambulance use in sparsely and densely populated areas.

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Lena Marie Beillon
Björn-Ove Suserud
Ingvar Karlberg
Johan Herlitz
Publicerad i The American journal of emergency medicine
Volym 27
Nummer/häfte 2
Sidor 202-11
ISSN 1532-8171
Publiceringsår 2009
Publicerad vid Institutionen för medicin, avdelningen för samhällsmedicin och folkhälsa
Institutionen för medicin, avdelningen för akut och kardiovaskulär medicin
Sidor 202-11
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2008.01.0...
Ämnesord Ambulances, utilization, Cross-Sectional Studies, Humans, Population Density, Prospective Studies, Questionnaires, Statistics, Nonparametric, Sweden
Ämneskategorier Folkhälsomedicinska forskningsområden

Sammanfattning

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, 1 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.

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