Title: Sociodemographic and Geographic Factors Associated With Non-Obstetrical Ultrasound Imaging Utilization: A Population-Based Study
Age: All Ages
Sex: All Sexes
Care Setting: Outpatient Ambulatory and Primary Care
Clinical Setting: General Diagnostic Imaging
Data Level: Regional
Data Type: Government Survey
Data Source: Saskatchewan Personal Health Registration System
Conclusion: Disparities In All Minority Groups
Health OutComes Reported: No
Free Text Conclusion: Disparities in ultrasound utilization were found among status First Nations individuals.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Ultrasound is one of the most commonly used imaging modalities, though some populations face barriers in accessing ultrasound services, potentially resulting in disparities in utilization. The objective of this study was to assess the association between sociodemographic and geographic factors and non-obstetrical ultrasound utilization in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. METHODS: All non-obstetrical ultrasound exams performed from 2014 to 2018 in Saskatchewan, Canada were retrospectively identified from province-wide databases. Univariate and multivariate Poisson regression analyses were performed to assess the association between ultrasound utilization and sex, age, First Nations status, Charlson Comorbidity Index, urban vs. rural residence, geographic remoteness, and neighborhood income. RESULTS: A total of 1,324,846 individuals (5,857,044 person-years)were included in the analysis. Female sex (adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR], 2.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.19-2.22), age (aIRR, 4.97; 95% CI, 4.90-5.05 for 57 years vs. <11 years), comorbidities (aIRR, 4.36 for Charlson Comorbidity Index > 10 vs. 0; 95% CI, 3.78-5.03), and higher neighborhood income (aIRR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.05 for highest vs. lowest quintile) were associated with higher rates of ultrasound utilization. Individuals who were status First Nations (aIRR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.90-0.92) or resided in geographically remote areas (aIRR, 0.87 for most vs. least remote; 95% CI, 0.83-0.91) had lower rates of ultrasound utilization. Individuals who lived in a rural area also had lower rates of ultrasound utilization (aIRR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.92-0.94). CONCLUSION: Substantial disparities exist in non-obstetrical ultrasound utilization among individuals in low-income neighborhoods, status First Nations individuals, and individuals in rural and remote communities.