Regional Variation in Rates of IVF Treatment across Australia: A Population-based Study

Louise Rawlings, Yao (Pauline) O'Shaughnessy (Ding), Stephen Robson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Background: There is variation in uptake of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) between countries, and Australia has high incidence rates of IVF due to universal public funding. However, it remains unclear whether there is regional variation and, if present, what might cause this. Objectives: We sought to determine whether regional variations in treatment rates existed and what might influence these. Methods: The number of cycles of fresh IVF and intrauterine insemination (IUI) for women were obtained for the period 2011 until 2014 in two age groups (25 to 34 years and 35 to 44 years) to calculate incidence rates. Proxy indicators that might influence treatment affordability were: unemployment rates; average weekly total earnings; coverage of private health insurance; and, percentage of women in the highest socioeconomic quintile. Measures of accessibility considered were percentage of the population remote from urban areas and average state population density. Linear regressions were performed using log-transformed ratio of IVF and IUI incidence rates. Results: Variations were found in IVF uptake between states with greater differences in older women. There was no significant association between IVF procedures and population density or geographic isolation. Economic factors were not associated with IVF uptake. Conclusion: These findings suggest that factors such as physician preference, clinical practice guidelines, and cryopreservation protocols of ART units might explain the national variation in uptake of IVF.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)16-26pp
    JournalJournal of Health Economics and Outcomes Research
    Volume5
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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