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Access To Obstetrical Care In Rural Areas Effect on Birth Outcomes

Author: WAMI Rural Health Research Center
Date Published: 1989

As an increasing number of physicians discontinue obstetrical practice access to obstetrical care has diminished in rural areas of the United States. This study used hospital discharge data to study the relationship between declining local access to obstetrical care and perinatal outcomes in rural Washington. The communities served by 33 rural hospitals in Washington State were categorized by the extent to which patient left their local communities for obstetrical services. Women from communities with relatively few obstetrical providers were less likely to deliver in their local community hospital than women in rural communities with lower rations of births to number of physicians practicing obstetrics.

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Number of Pages: 26