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Med J Aust. 2002 Jan 21;176(2):58-62.

Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures among Australian hospital patients identified as indigenous.

Author information

1
Menzies School ofHealth Research, Casuarina, NT. joan.cunningham@menzies.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether hospital patients identified as Indigenous are less likely than other inpatients to have a principal procedure recorded, and the extent to which any disparity in procedure use can be explained by differences in patient, episode and hospital characteristics.

DESIGN:

Retrospective analysis of routinely collected administrative data from the National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD).

SETTING:

Australian public and private hospitals.

PATIENTS:

All patients included in the NHMD whose episode type was recorded as acute and whose separation occurred between 1 July 1997 and 30 June 1998. Patients admitted for routine dialysis treatment were excluded.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Whether a principal procedure was recorded.

RESULTS:

In public hospitals, patients identified as Indigenous were significantly less likely than other patients to have a principal procedure recorded, even after adjusting for patient, episode and hospital characteristics (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.67; 95% CI, 0.66-0.68). This disparity was apparent for most diseases and conditions. In private hospitals, no significant difference was observed (adjusted OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.83-1.06).

CONCLUSIONS:

The disparity in procedure use after adjustment for relevant factors indicates that in Australian public hospitals there may be systematic differences in the treatment of patients identified as Indigenous.

PMID:
11936285
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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