Malcolm Koo and Chien-Han Chen contributed equally to this work.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
SCL, KWT, and CHC conceived of the study; MK and MCL participated in the design of the study; MK conducted the statistical analysis and wrote the manuscript; CHC, SCL, KWT, and MCL revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content; All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Menstrual disorders and their adverse symptoms can have a deleterious effect on both the private and working lives of women. Previous studies indicated that female nurses have elevated risk of menstrual disorders. Moreover, female nurses showed a higher incidence of ambulatory care visit for genitourinary diseases compared with other female medical personnel. However, little is known whether the medical services utilization for menstrual disorders were different among personnel from various medical professions. Therefore, the present study compared the ambulatory medical services utilization for menstrual disorders among personnel of six different medical professions in Taiwan using a nationwide, population-based health claim research database.
The National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) was used to identify female medical professionals, aged 18 to 45 years, who obtained their licenses during January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2012. Personnel from six different medical professions were examined and they included (1) medical technologists and therapists, (2) registered nurses, (3) physicians, (4) doctors of Chinese medicine, (5) dentists, and (6) pharmacists. Diagnoses of menstrual disorders, based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes, were obtained from the ambulatory medical services utilization that occurred after their license date. Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the hazards of medical services utilization for menstrual disorders using medical technologists and therapists as the reference category.
A total of 7653 medical personnel were included in the analysis. Using the group containing medical technologists and therapists as the reference category, registered nurses (adjusted hazards ratio [AHR] = 1.13, p = 0.018) and doctors of Chinese medicine (AHR = 2.52, p < 0.001) showed a significant increased risk of medical services utilization for menstrual disorders. Conversely, physicians showed a significant decreased risk of medical services utilization for menstrual disorders (AHR = 0.58, p < 0.001). Regarding the nine specific menstrual disorders observed in this study, registered nurses and doctors of Chinese medicine showed an increased risk in six and four of them, respectively. Pharmacists showed an increased risk only in menorrhagia (AHR = 1.64, p = 0.020) and dentists showed no significant differences in any of the nine specific menstrual disorders compared with medical technologists and therapists. Physicians showed a significant decreased risk all specific menstrual disorders except menorrhagia and dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
Findings from this population-based cohort study revealed that, compared with medical technologists and therapists, registered nurses and doctors of Chinese medicine exhibited significant increased risks in medical services utilization for menstrual disorders whereas physicians showed a significant decreased risk in menstrual disorders. Further studies should be conducted to delineate whether the differences in the medical services utilization is an indicator of risk of menstrual disorders or the results of varying patterns of health care seeking behavior among women of different medical professions.
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- Ambulatory medical services utilization for menstrual disorders among female personnel of different medical professions in Taiwan: a nationwide retrospective cohort study
- BioMed Central
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