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Cope JR, Yano EM, Lee ML, Washington DL. Determinants of contraceptive availability at medical facilities in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Journal of general internal medicine. 2006 Mar 1; 21 Suppl 3:S33-9.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the variation in provision of hormonal and intrauterine contraception among Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. DESIGN: Key informant, cross-sectional survey of 166 VA medical facilities. Data from public use data sets and VA administrative databases were linked to facility data to further characterize their contextual environments. PARTICIPANTS: All VA hospital-based and affiliated community-based outpatient clinics delivering services to at least 400 unique women during fiscal year 2000. MEASUREMENTS: Onsite availability of hormonal contraceptive prescription and intrauterine device (IUD) placement. RESULTS: Ninety-seven percent of facilities offered onsite prescription and management of hormonal contraception whereas 63% offered placement of IUDs. After adjusting for facility caseload of reproductive-aged women, 3 organizational factors were independently associated with onsite IUD placement: (1) onsite gynecologist (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 20.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.02 to 58.74; P < .001); (2) hospital-based in contrast to community-based practice (adjusted OR, 5.49; 95% CI, 1.16 to 26.10; P = .03); and (3) availability of a clinician providing women's health training to other clinicians (adjusted OR, 3.40; 95% CI 1.19 to 9.76; P = .02). CONCLUSIONS: VA's provision of hormonal and intrauterine contraception is in accordance with community standards, although onsite availability is not universal. Although contraception is a crucial component of a woman's health maintenance, her ability to obtain certain contraceptives from the facility where she obtains her primary care is largely influenced by the availability of a gynecologist. Further research is needed to determine how fragmentation of women's care into reproductive and nonreproductive services impacts access to contraception and the incidence of unintended pregnancy.