Accessibility of Family Planning Services: Impact of Structural and Organizational Factors

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ObjectivesThis study sought to determine whether selected structural and organizational characteristics of publicly available family planning facilities are associated with greater availability.MethodsA survey was sent to 726 publicly available family planning facilities in four states. These included local health departments, federally qualified health centers (FQHC), Planned Parenthood sites, hospital outpatient departments, and freestanding women's health centers. Usable responses were obtained from 526 sites for a response rate of 72.5%. Availability variables included the provision of primary care services; the contraceptives offered; professional staffing; scheduling, waiting time, and transportation; and cultural congruence and competency. The structural and organizational variables were state, type of organization, and funding source.ResultsSome states were more likely to offer emergency contraception while others were more likely to have weekend hours. FQHCs were most likely to provide primary care and Planned Parenthood sites most likely to offer emergency contraception. Title X funding was associated with increased likelihood of providing emergency contraception and staffing by midlevel practitioners and registered nurses.ConclusionsThis study found that availability varied by structural and organizational variables, many of which are determined by federal and state policies. Revising some of these policies might increase utilization of family planning facilities.

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