Identification of delirium in emergency departments (ED) is often underestimated; within EDs, studies on delirium assessment and relation with patient outcome in Intermediate Care Units (IMCU) appear missing in European hospital settings. Here we aimed to determine delirium prevalence in an EDIMCU (Hospital de Braga, Braga, Portugal) and assessed routine biochemical parameters that might be delirium indicators.
The study was prospective and observational. Sedation level was assessed via the Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale and delirium status by the Confusion Assessment Method for the ICU. Information collected included age and gender, admission type, Charlson Comorbidity Index combined condition score (Charlson score), systemic inflammatory response syndrome criteria (SIRS), biochemical parameters (blood concentration of urea nitrogen, creatinine, hemoglobin, sodium and potassium, arterial blood gases, and other parameters as needed depending on clinical diagnosis) and EDIMCU length of stay (LOS). Statistical analyses were performed as appropriate to determine if baseline features differed between the ‘Delirium’ and ‘No Delirium’ groups. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to assess the effect of delirium on the 1-month outcome.
Inclusion and exclusion criteria were met in 283 patients; 238 were evaluated at 1-month for outcome follow-up after EDIMCU discharge (“good” recovery without complications requiring hospitalization or institutionalization; “poor” institutionalization in permanent care-units/assisted-living or death). Delirium was diagnosed in 20.1% patients and was significantly associated with longer EDIMCU LOS. At admission, Delirium patients were significantly older and had significantly higher blood urea, creatinine and osmolarity levels and significantly lower hemoglobin levels, when compared with No Delirium patients. Delirium was an independent predictor of increased EDIMCU LOS (odds ratio 3.65, 95% CI 1.97-6.75) and poor outcome at 1-month after discharge (odds ratio 3.51, CI 1.84-6.70), adjusted for age, gender, admission type, presence of SIRS criteria, Charlson score and osmolarity at admission.
In an EDIMCU setting, delirium was associated with longer LOS and poor outcome at1-month post-discharge. Altogether, findings support the need for delirium screening and management in emergency settings.
Emergency department; Intermediate care units; Short stay units; High dependency units; Delirium; Confusion assessment method; Length of stay; Osmolarity
A patient left without being seen is a well-recognized indicator of Emergency Department overcrowding. The aim of this study was to define the characteristics of LWBS patients, their rates and associated factors from a tertiary care hospital of Pakistan.
A retrospective patient record review was undertaken. All patients presenting to the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, between April and December of the year 2010, were included in the study. Information was collected on age, sex, presenting complaints, ED capacity, month, time, shift, day of the week, and waiting times in the ED. A basic descriptive analysis was made and the rates of LWBS patients were determined among the patient subgroups. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the risk factors associated with a patient not being seen in the ED.
A total of 38,762 patients visited ED during the study period. Among them 5,086 (13%) patients left without being seen. Percentage of leaving was highest in the night shift (20%). The percentage was twice as high when the ED was on diversion (19.8%) compared to regular periods of operation (9.8%). Mean waiting time before leaving the ED in pediatric patients was 154 minutes while for adults it was 171 minutes. More than 32% of patients had waited for more than 180 minutes before they left without being seen, compared to the patients who were seen in ED. Important predictors for LWBS included; Triage category P4 i.e. walk –in-patients had an OR of 13.62(8.72-21.3), Diversion status, OR 1.49(1.26-1.76), night shift , OR 2.44(1.95-3.05) and Pediatric age, OR 0.57(0.48-0.66).
Our study elucidates the LWBS population characteristics and identifies the risk factors for this phenomenon. Targeted interventions should be planned and implemented to decrease the waiting time and alternate services should be provided for high-risk patients (for LWBS) to minimize their number.
Despite the use of e-FAST in management of patients with abdominal trauma, its utility in prehospital setting is not widely adopted. The goal of this study is to develop a novel portable telesonography (TS) system and evaluate the comparability of the quality of images obtained via this system among healthy volunteers who undergo e-FAST abdominal examination in a moving ambulance and at the ED. We hypothesize that: (1) real-time ultrasound images of acute trauma patients in the pre-hospital setting can be obtained and transmitted to the ED via the novel TS system; and (2) Ultrasound images transmitted to the hospital from the real-time TS system will be comparable in quality to those obtained in the ED.
Study participants are three healthy volunteers (one each with normal, overweight and obese BMI category). The ultrasound images will be obtained by two ultrasound-trained physicians The TS is a portable sonogram (by Sonosite) interfaced with a portable broadcast unit (by Live-U). Two UTPs will conduct e-FAST examinations on healthy volunteers in moving ambulances and transmit the images via cellular network to the hospital server, where they are stored. Upon arrival in the ED, the same UTPs will obtain another set of images from the volunteers, which are then compared to those obtained in the moving ambulances by another set of blinded UTPs (evaluators) using a validated image quality scale, the Questionnaire for User Interaction Satisfaction (QUIS).
Findings from this study will provide needed data on the validity of the novel TS in transmitting live images from moving ambulances to images obtained in the ED thus providing opportunity to facilitate medical care of a patient located in a remote or austere setting.
Telesonography; Abdominal trauma; Patients; Pre-hospital; Novel; Real-time; Mobile
Currently the American Red Cross requires that individuals renew their cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification annually; this often requires a 4- to 8-hour refresher course. Those trained in CPR often show a decrease in essential knowledge and skills within just a few months after training. New electronic means of communication have expanded the possibilities for delivering CPR refreshers to members of the general public who receive CPR training. The study’s purpose was to determine the efficacy of three novel CPR refreshers - online website, e-mail and text messaging – for improving three outcomes of CPR training - skill retention, confidence for using CPR and intention to use CPR. These three refreshers may be considered “novel” in that they are not typically used to refresh CPR knowledge and skills.
The study conducted two randomized clinical trials of the novel CPR refreshers. A mailed brochure was a traditional, passive refresher format and served as the control condition. In Trial 1, the refreshers were delivered in a single episode at 6 months after initial CPR training. In Trial 2, the refreshers were delivered twice, at 6 and 9 months after initial CPR training, to test the effect of a repeated delivery. Outcomes for the three novel refreshers vs. the mailed brochure were determined at 12 months after initial CPR training.
Assignment to any of three novel refreshers did not improve outcomes of CPR training one year later in comparison with receiving a mailed brochure. Comparing outcomes for subjects who actually reviewed some of the novel refreshers vs. those who did not indicated a significant positive effect for one outcome, confidence for performing CPR. The website refresher was associated with increased behavioral intent to perform CPR. Stated satisfaction with the refreshers was relatively high. The number of episodes of refreshers (one vs. two) did not have a significant effect on any outcomes.
There was no consistent evidence for the superiority of novel refreshers as compared with a traditional mailed brochure, but the low degree of actual exposure to the materials does not allow a definitive conclusion. An online web-based approach seems to have the most promise for future research on electronic CPR refreshers.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; CPR; CPR refreshers; Prehospital emergency care; Cardiac arrest
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects approximately 10 million people annually, of which intracranial hemorrhage is a devastating sequelae, occurring in one-third to half of cases. Patients in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) are twice as likely to die following TBI as compared to those in high-income countries. Diagnostic capabilities and treatment options for intracranial hemorrhage are limited in LMIC as there are fewer computed tomography (CT) scanners and neurosurgeons per patient as in high-income countries.
The Medical Research Council CRASH-1 trial was utilized to build this model. The study cohort included all patients from LMIC who received a CT scan of the brain (n = 5669). Prognostic variables investigated included age, sex, time from injury to randomization, pupil reactivity, cause of injury, seizure and the presence of major extracranial injury.
There were five predictors that were included in the final model; age, Glasgow Coma Scale, pupil reactivity, the presence of a major extracranial injury and time from injury to presentation. The model demonstrated good discrimination and excellent calibration (c-statistic 0.71). A simplified risk score was created for clinical settings to estimate the percentage risk of intracranial hemorrhage among TBI patients.
Simple prognostic models can be used in LMIC to estimate the risk of intracranial hemorrhage among TBI patients. Combined with clinical judgment this may facilitate risk stratification, rapid transfer to higher levels of care and treatment in resource-poor settings.
Neurosurgery; Trauma; Developing countries; Intracranial hemorrhage; Traumatic brain injury
Mortality from trauma remains a major public health issue as it is the leading cause of death in persons aged 5 to 44 years .Uncontrolled hemorrhage and coagulopathy is responsible for over 50% of all trauma related deaths within the first 48hrs of admission. Coagulation profiles are not routinely done among trauma patients in resource limited settings and there is a paucity of data on acute traumatic coagulopathy (ATC) in sub Saharan Africa. The study was conducted to evaluate the prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time (PT/PTT) as predictors of mortality and morbidity among major trauma patients.
A prospective cohort study was carried out, in which major trauma patients admitted in A&E department between December 2011 to April 2012 were recruited. Five (5) mls of venous blood was drawn from a convenient vein within 10 minutes of the patient’s arrival at A&E for analysis of PT/PTT. Patients were stratified into two groups by the presence/absence of coagulopathy then followed up for a 2 week period for morbidity and mortality.
A total of 182 major trauma patients were recruited; 149 (81.9%) were males, the mean age was 29.5 years (SD 9.8). Prevalence of coagulopathy was 54% (98/182). The mean ISS for the ATC group was 36.9 and the non ATC group was 26.9 (p=0.001). Patients with ATC stayed longer in hospital 11.24 days than non ATC patients 8 days (p=0.001). ATC was strongly associated with ARI (p= 0.003). Mortality was more in the ATC group 29 deaths compared to 9 deaths in the non ATC group. PTT was a strong independent predictor of mortality.
A significant proportion of major trauma patients were coagulopathic. Initial coagulation profile is useful in predicting outcomes for major trauma patients.
Acute traumatic coagulopathy; PT/PTT; Major trauma
Length of stay is an important indicator of quality of care in Emergency Departments (ED). This study explores the duration of patients’ visits to the ED for which they are treated and released (T&R).
Retrospective data analysis and multivariate regression analysis were conducted to investigate the duration of T&R ED visits. Duration for each visit was computed by taking the difference between admission and discharge times. The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD) for 2008 were used in the analysis.
The mean duration of T&R ED visit was 195.7 minutes. The average duration of ED visits increased from 8 a.m. until noon, then decreased until midnight at which we observed an approximately 70-minute spike in average duration. We found a substantial difference in mean duration of ED visits (over 90 minutes) between Mondays and other weekdays during the transition time from the evening of the day before to the early morning hours. Black / African American patients had a 21.4-minute longer mean duration of visits compared to white patients. The mean duration of visits at teaching hospitals was substantially longer than at non-teaching hospitals (243.8 versus 175.6 minutes). Hospitals with large bed size were associated with longer duration of visits (222.2 minutes) when compared to hospitals with small bed size (172.4 minutes) or those with medium bed size (166.5 minutes). The risk-adjusted results show that mean duration of visits on Mondays are longer by about 4 and 9 percents when compared to mean duration of visits on non-Monday workdays and weekends, respectively.
The duration of T&R ED visits varied significantly by admission hour, day of the week, patient volume, patient characteristics, hospital characteristics and area characteristics.
Patient demographic characteristics have been associated with longer emergency department (ED) treatment times, but the influence of psychosocial characteristics has not been assessed. We evaluated whether depression was associated with greater ED length of stay (LOS) in non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and unstable angina (UA) patients presenting to a large metropolitan academic medical center.
We calculated ED LOS for NSTEMI or UA patients enrolled an observational cohort study by taking the difference between ED triage time in the medical record and time of transfer to an inpatient bed from standardized transfer documentation forms. Depression status was defined as current, past, or never by clinical interview and also by self-report on the Beck Depression Inventory.
Participants were 120 NSTEMI/UA patients [mean age= 62, 36% women, 56% Hispanic, 26% Black/African American, 40% NSTEMI, mean global registry of acute cardiac events (GRACE) score= 93.9]. Mean ED LOS was 11.6 hours, SD= 8.3. A multiple linear regression model that included the above demographic and clinical variables, and time of presentation to ED, explained 11% of the variance in ED LOS, F (11, 108)= 2.35, p= .01, R2 adj.= .11. Currently depressed patients spent 5.4 more hours (95% CI= .40, 10.4 hours) in the ED on average than patients who had never been depressed.
Currently depressed NSTEMI/UA patients are in the ED for an average of 5 hours longer than those who have never been depressed. Further research is needed to identify the reasons for this difference.
Emergency department length of stay; Crowding; Depression
Despite validated guidelines, management of mild head injury (MHI) is still associated with excessive computed tomography (CT) scanning. Reports concerning serum levels of S100B have shown promise concerning safe reduction in CT scanning but clinical validation and actual impact on patient management is unclear. In 2007, S100B was introduced into emergency department (ED) clinical management routines in Halmstad, Sweden. MHI patients with low (<0.10 mikrogram/L) levels of S100B could be discharged without CT. Our aim was to examine the clinical impact and performance of S100B in clinical use for MHI patients.
Adult ([≥]18 years) patients with MHI (GCS 14–15, loss of consciousness and/or amnesia and no additional risk factors) and S100B sampling within 3 hours were prospectively included in this validation study. Patients were managed according to the adapted guidelines and management was documented. Outcome was determined with a questionnaire 3 months post-trauma and medical records to identify significant intracranial complications such as new neuroimaging, neurosurgery and/or death related to the trauma.
512 patients were included. 24 (4.7%) showed traumatic abnormalities on CT and 1 patient died (0.2%). 138 patients (27%) had normal S100B levels and 374 patients (73%) showed elevated S100B levels. No patients with a normal S100B level showed significant intracranial complication. 44 patients (32%) were managed with CT despite the guidelines recommending discharge (all these CT scans were normal) and 28 patients (7%) were discharged despite a CT recommendation (follow-up was normal in all these patients). S100B had a sensitivity of 100% (95% CI 83-100%) and a specificity of 28% (95% CI 24-33%) for significant intracranial complications.
The clinical use of S100B within our existing guidelines for management of MHI is safe and effective. Adult MHI patients, without additional risk factors and with normal S100B levels within 3 hours of injury, can safely be discharged from the hospital.
In November 2008, a surgical team from the Red Cross Hospital Beverwijk, the Netherlands, was deployed in Afghanistan for three months to attend in the army hospital of Kandahar.
During their stay, four incidents of armored personnel carriers encountering an improvised explosive device were assessed. In each incident, two soldiers were involved, whose injuries were strikingly similar.
The described cases comprise paired thoracic vertebral fractures, radial neck fractures, calcaneal fractures and talar fractures. Moreover, the different types of blast injury are mentioned and related to the injuries described in our series. Acknowledging the different blast mechanisms is important for understanding possible injury patterns.
From this case series, as well as the existing literature on injury patterns caused by blast injuries, it seems appropriate to pay extra attention to bodily areas that were injured in other occupants of the same vehicle. Obviously, the additional surveillance for specific injuries should be complementary to the regular trauma work-up (e.g., ATLS).
Improvised explosive devices; Identical injuries; Blast injury
Rupture of the spleen in the absence of trauma or previously diagnosed disease is largely ignored in the emergency literature and is often not documented as such in journals from other fields. We have conducted a systematic review of the literature to highlight the surprisingly frequent occurrence of this phenomenon and to document the diversity of diseases that can present in this fashion.
Systematic review of English and French language publications catalogued in Pubmed, Embase and CINAHL between 1950 and 2011.
We found 613 cases of splenic rupture meeting the criteria above, 327 of which occurred as the presenting complaint of an underlying disease and 112 of which occurred following a medical procedure. Rupture appeared to occur spontaneously in histologically normal (but not necessarily normal size) spleens in 35 cases and after minor trauma in 23 cases. Medications were implicated in 47 cases, a splenic or adjacent anatomical abnormality in 31 cases and pregnancy or its complications in 38 cases.
The most common associated diseases were infectious (n = 143), haematologic (n = 84) and non-haematologic neoplasms (n = 48). Amyloidosis (n = 24), internal trauma such as cough or vomiting (n = 17) and rheumatologic diseases (n = 10) are less frequently reported. Colonoscopy (n = 87) was the procedure reported most frequently as a cause of rupture. The anatomic abnormalities associated with rupture include splenic cysts (n = 6), infarction (n = 6) and hamartomata (n = 5). Medications associated with rupture include anticoagulants (n = 21), thrombolytics (n = 13) and recombinant G-CSF (n = 10). Other causes or associations reported very infrequently include other endoscopy, pulmonary, cardiac or abdominal surgery, hysterectomy, peliosis, empyema, remote pancreato-renal transplant, thrombosed splenic vein, hemangiomata, pancreatic pseudocysts, splenic artery aneurysm, cholesterol embolism, splenic granuloma, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, rib exostosis, pancreatitis, Gaucher's disease, Wilson's disease, pheochromocytoma, afibrinogenemia and ruptured ectopic pregnancy.
Emergency physicians should be attuned to the fact that rupture of the spleen can occur in the absence of major trauma or previously diagnosed splenic disease. The occurrence of such a rupture is likely to be the manifesting complaint of an underlying disease. Furthermore, colonoscopy should be more widely documented as a cause of splenic rupture.
Splenic rupture; Rupture; Spontaneous; Atraumatic; Presenting complaint; Initial manifestation
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics experience critical incidents which evoke distress and impaired functioning but it is unknown which aspects of incidents contribute to their impact. We sought to determine these specific characteristics by developing an inventory of critical incident characteristics and testing their relationship to protracted recovery from acute stress, and subsequent emotional symptoms.
EMT/paramedics (n = 223) completed a retrospective survey of reactions to an index critical incident, and current depressive, posttraumatic and burnout symptoms. Thirty-six potential event characteristics were evaluated; 22 were associated with peritraumatic distress and were retained. We assigned inventory items to one of three domains: situational, systemic or personal characteristics. We tested the relationships between (a) endorsing any domain item and (b) outcomes of the critical incident (peritraumatic dissociation, recovery from components of the Acute Stress Reaction and depressive, posttraumatic, and burnout symptoms). Analyses were repeated for the number of items endorsed.
Personal and situational characteristics were most frequently endorsed. The personal domain had the strongest associations, particularly with peritraumatic dissociation, prolonged distressing feelings, and current posttraumatic symptoms. The situational domain was associated with peritraumatic dissociation, prolonged social withdrawal, and current posttraumatic symptoms. The systemic domain was associated with peritraumatic dissociation and prolonged irritability. Endorsing multiple characteristics was related to peritraumatic, acute stress, and current posttraumatic symptoms. Relationships with outcome variables were as strong for a 14-item inventory (situational and personal characteristics only) as the 22-item inventory.
Emotional sequelae are associated most strongly with EMT/paramedics’ personal experience, and least with systemic characteristics. A14-item inventory identifies critical incident characteristics associated with emotional sequelae. This may be helpful in tailoring recovery support to individual provider needs.
In paediatric emergency medicine, estimation of weight in ill children can be performed in a variety of ways. Calculation using the ‘APLS’ formula (weight = [age + 4] × 2) is one very common method. Studies on its validity in developed countries suggest that it tends to under-estimate the weight of children, potentially leading to errors in drug and fluid administration. The formula is not validated in Trinidad and Tobago, where it is routinely used to calculate weight in paediatric resuscitation.
Over a six-week period in January 2009, all children one to five years old presenting to the Emergency Department were weighed. Their measured weights were compared to their estimated weights as calculated using the APLS formula, the Luscombe and Owens formula and a “best fit” formula derived (then simplified) from linear regression analysis of the measured weights.
The APLS formula underestimated weight in all age groups with a mean difference of −1.4 kg (95% limits of agreement 5.0 to −7.8). The Luscombe and Owens formula was more accurate in predicting weight than the APLS formula, with a mean difference of −0.4 kg (95% limits of agreement 6.9 to −6.1%). Using linear regression analysis, and simplifying the derived equation, the best formula to describe weight and age was (weight = [2.5 x age] + 8). The percentage of children whose actual weight fell within 10% of the calculated weights using any of the three formulae was not significantly different.
The APLS formula slightly underestimates the weights of children in Trinidad, although this is less than in similar studies in developed countries. Both the Luscombe and Owens formula and the formula derived from the results of this study give a better estimate of the measured weight of children in Trinidad. However, the accuracy and precision of all three formulae were not significantly different from each other. It is recommended that the APLS formula should continue to be used to estimate the weight of children in resuscitation situations in Trinidad, as it is well known, easy to calculate and widely taught in this setting.
Effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation and increased coronary perfusion pressures have been linked to improved survival from cardiac arrest. This study aimed to compare the rates of survival between conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation (C-CPR) and automated CPR (A-CPR) using AutoPulse™ in adults following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).
This was a retrospective study using a matched case–control design across three regional study sites in Victoria, Australia. Each case was matched to at least two (maximum four) controls using age, gender, response time, presenting cardiac rhythm and bystander CPR, and analysed using conditional fixed-effects logistic regression.
During the period 1 October 2006 to 30 April 2010 there were 66 OHCA cases using A-CPR. These were matched to 220 cases of OHCA involving the administration of C-CPR only (controls). Survival to hospital was achieved in 26% (17/66) of cases receiving A-CPR compared with 20% (43/220) of controls receiving C-CPR and the propensity score adjusted odds ratio [AOR (95% CI)] was 1.69 (0.79, 3.63). Results were similar using only bystander witnessed OHCA cases with presumed cardiac aetiology. Survival to hospital was achieved for 29% (14/48) of cases receiving A-CPR compared with 18% (21/116) of those receiving C-CPR [AOR = 1.80 (0.78, 4.11)].
The use of A-CPR resulted in a higher rate of survival to hospital compared with C-CPR, yet a tendency for a lower rate of survival to hospital discharge, however these associations did not reach statistical significance. Further research is warranted which is prospective in nature, involves randomisation and larger number of cases to investigate potential sub-group benefits of A-CPR including survival to hospital discharge.
Septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint (SCJ) is extremely rare, and usually appears to result from hematogenous spread. Predisposing factors include immunocompromising diseases such as diabetes.
A 61-year-old man with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus presented to our emergency department with low back pain, high fever, and a painful mass over his left SCJ. He had received two epidural blocks over the past 2 weeks for severe back and leg pain secondary to lumbar disc herniation. He did not complain of weakness or sensory changes of his lower limbs, and his bladder and bowel function were normal. He had no history of shoulder injection, subclavian vein catheterization, intravenous drug abuse, or focal infection including tooth decay. CT showed an abscess of the left SCJ, with extension into the mediastinum and sternocleidomastoid muscle, and left paraspinal muscle swelling at the level of L2. MRI showed spondylodiscitis of L3-L4 with a contiguous extradural abscess. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from cultures of aspirated pus from his SCJ, and from his urine and blood. The SCJ abscess was incised and drained, and appropriate intravenous antibiotic therapy was administered. Two weeks after admission, the purulent discharge from the left SCJ had completely stopped, and the wound showed improvement. He was transferred to another ward for treatment of the ongoing back pain.
Diabetic patients with S. aureus bacteremia may be at risk of severe musculoskeletal infections via hematogenous spread.
Sternoclavicular joint; Septic arthritis; Spondylitis; Epidural abscess; Epidural anesthesia; Staphylococcus aureus
Dyspnea is among the most common reasons for emergency department (ED) visits by patients with cardiopulmonary disease who are commonly asked to recall the symptoms that prompted them to come to the ED. The reliability of recalled dyspnea has not been systematically investigated in ED patients.
Patients with chronic or acute cardiopulmonary conditions who came to the ED with dyspnea (N = 154) completed the Multidimensional Dyspnea Profile (MDP) several times during the visit and in a follow-up visit 4 to 6 weeks later (n = 68). The MDP has 12 items with numerical ratings of intensity, unpleasantness, sensory qualities, and emotions associated with how breathing felt when participants decided to come to the ED (recall MDP) or at the time of administration (“now” MDP). The recall MDP was administered twice in the ED and once during the follow-up visit. Principal components analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation was used to assess domain structure of the recall MDP. Internal consistency reliability was assessed with Cronbach’s alpha. Test–retest reliability was assessed with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for absolute agreement for individual items and domains.
PCA of the recall MDP was consistent with two domains (Immediate Perception, 7 items, Cronbach’s alpha = .89 to .94; Emotional Response, 5 items; Cronbach’s alpha = .81 to .85). Test–retest ICCs for the recall MDP during the ED visit ranged from .70 to .87 for individual items and were .93 and .94 for the Immediate Perception and Emotional Response domains. ICCs were much lower for the interval between the ED visit and follow-up, both for individual items (.28 to .66) and for the Immediate Perception and Emotional Response domains (.72 and .78, respectively).
During an ED visit, recall MDP ratings of dyspnea at the time participants decided to seek care in the ED are reliable and sufficiently stable, both for individual items and the two domains, that a time lag between arrival and questionnaire administration does not critically affect recall of perceptual and emotional characteristics immediately prior to the visit. However, test–retest reliability of recall over a 4- to 6-week interval is poor for individual items and significantly attenuated for the two domains.
Dyspnea; Recall; Test–retest reliability; Questionnaires; Emergency department visits