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1.  Rural-Urban Disparities in Child Abuse Management Resources in the Emergency Department 
To characterize differences in child abuse management resources between urban and rural emergency departments (EDs).
We surveyed ED directors and nurse managers at hospitals in Oregon to gain information about available abuse-related resources. Chi-square analysis was used to test differences between urban and rural EDs. Multivariate analysis was performed to examine the association between a variety of hospital characteristics, in addition to rural location, and presence of child abuse resources.
Fifty-five Oregon hospitals were surveyed. A smaller proportion of rural EDs had written abuse policies (62% vs 95%, P = .006) or on-site child abuse advocates (35% vs 71%, P = .009). Thirty-two percent of rural EDs had none of the examined abuse resources (vs 0% of urban EDs, P = .01). Of hospital characteristics studied in the multivariate model, only rural location was associated with decreased availability of child abuse resources (OR 0.19 [95% CI, 0.05 – 0.70]).
Rural EDs have fewer resources than urban EDs for the management of child abuse. Other studied hospital characteristics were not associated with availability of abuse resources. Further work is needed to identify barriers to resource utilization and to create resources that can be made accessible to all ED settings.
PMCID: PMC2967446  PMID: 21029171
access to care; child abuse; emergency medicine; health disparities; health services research
2.  Failure of Intimate Partner Violence Screening Among Patients with Substance Use Disorders 
This studys examined the relationship between substance use disorder (SUD) and intimate partner violence screening (IPV) and management practices in the emergency department (ED).
This was a retrospective cohort study of adult ED patients presenting to an urban, tertiary care teaching hospital over a 4-month period. An automated electronic data abstraction process identified consecutive patients and retrieved visit characteristics, including results of three violence screening questions, demographic data, triage acuity, time of visit, and ICD-9 diagnosis codes. Data on management were collected using a standardized abstraction tool by two reviewers masked to the study question. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine predictors of screening and management.
In 10,071 visits, 6,563 violence screens were completed. IPV screening was documented in 33.5% of patients with alcohol-related diagnoses (95% CI = 27.7% to 39.3%, χ2 = 116.78, p < 0.001) and 53.3% of patients with drug-related diagnoses (95% CI = 44.3% to 62.3%, χ2 = 7.69, p = 0.006), compared to 66.1% of patients without these diagnoses (95% CI = 65.2% to 67.1%). In the multivariate analysis, alcohol (OR 0.30, 95% CI = 0.22 to 0.40) and drug use (OR 0.56, 95% CI = 0.38 to 0.83) were associated with decreased odds of screening. Of completed screens, 429 (6.5%) were positive, but violence was addressed further in only 55.7% of patients. Substance abuse did not appear to affect the odds of having positive screens addressed further by providers (OR 1.96, 95% CI = 0.39 to 10.14).
This study found an association between SUD and decreased odds of IPV screening. Failure to screen for IPV in the setting of substance use may represent a missed opportunity to address a critical health issue, and be a barrier to successful intervention.
PMCID: PMC2926310  PMID: 20670328
Domestic violence; Substance-related disorders
3.  Rural-Urban Disparities in Emergency Department Intimate Partner Violence Resources 
Little is known about availability of resources for managing intimate partner violence (IPV) at rural hospitals. We assessed differences in availability of resources for IPV screening and management between rural and urban emergency departments (EDs) in Oregon.
We conducted a standardized telephone interview of Oregon ED directors and nurse managers on six IPV-related resources: official screening policies, standardized screening tools, public displays regarding IPV, on-site advocacy, intervention checklists and regular clinician education. We used chi-square analysis to test differences in reported resource availability between urban and rural EDs.
Of 57 Oregon EDs, 55 (96%) completed the survey. A smaller proportion of rural EDs, compared to urban EDs, reported official screening policies (74% vs. 100%, p=0.01), standardized screening instruments (21% vs. 55%, p=0.01), clinician education (38% vs. 70%, p=0.02) or on-site violence advocacy (44% vs. 95%, p<0.001). Twenty-seven percent of rural EDs had none or one of the studied resources, 50% had two or three, and 24% had four or more (vs. 0%, 35%, and 65% in urban EDs, p=0.003). Small, remote rural hospitals had fewer resources than larger, less remote rural hospitals or urban hospitals.
Rural EDs have fewer resources for addressing IPV. Further work is needed to identify specific barriers to obtaining resources for IPV management that can be used in all hospital settings.
PMCID: PMC3099604  PMID: 21691523
4.  Acceptability, Language, and Structure of Text Message-Based Behavioral Interventions for High-Risk Adolescent Females: A Qualitative Study 
To elucidate key elements surrounding acceptability/feasibility, language, and structure of a text message-based preventive intervention for high-risk adolescent females.
We recruited high-risk 13- to 17-year-old females screening positive for past-year peer violence and depressive symptoms, during emergency department visits for any chief complaint. Participants completed semistructured interviews exploring preferences around text message preventive interventions. Interviews were conducted by trained interviewers, audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. A coding structure was iteratively developed using thematic and content analysis. Each transcript was double coded. NVivo 10 was used to facilitate analysis.
Saturation was reached after 20 interviews (mean age 15.4; 55% white; 40% Hispanic; 85% with cell phone access). (1) Acceptability/feasibility themes: A text-message intervention was felt to support and enhance existing coping strategies. Participants had a few concerns about privacy and cost. Peer endorsement may increase uptake. (2) Language themes: Messages should be simple and positive. Tone should be conversational but not slang filled. (3) Structural themes: Messages may be automated but must be individually tailored on a daily basis. Both predetermined (automatic) and as-needed messages are requested. Dose and timing of content should be varied according to participants’ needs. Multimedia may be helpful but is not necessary.
High-risk adolescent females seeking emergency department care are enthusiastic about a text message-based preventive intervention. Incorporating thematic results on language and structure can inform development of future text messaging interventions for adolescent girls. Concerns about cost and privacy may be able to be addressed through the process of recruitment and introduction to the intervention.
PMCID: PMC4065850  PMID: 24559973
Adolescents; Health promotion; Text messaging; Behavior change
5.  Attitudes toward technology-based health information among adult emergency department patients with drug or alcohol misuse☆,☆☆ 
Technology-based screening and interventions are emerging solutions to the challenge of addressing substance use in the emergency department (ED). A standardized questionnaire of adult patients at a large-volume, urban, academic ED assessed interest in, and potential barriers to, technology-based substance use information. Questionnaire topics included substance use, access to technology, preferences for health information, and perceived barriers to technology interventions. Among the 430 participants, mean age was 39 years and 55% were female; 37% reported alcohol misuse and 52% drug misuse. Access to technology was high. Technology was preferred by 46% of alcohol misusers (vs. 43% non-misusers, p=0.65) but only 41.9% of drug misusers (vs. 56% non-drug misusers, p=0.005). In multivariate analyses, drug misuse was associated with decreased interest in receiving technology-based information. Cited barriers included confidentiality, complexity, and time. Our findings suggest that drug misusers in particular may wish to have reassurances about the confidentiality of technology-based interactions.
PMCID: PMC4325362  PMID: 23107105
Substance abuse; Substance use disorders; Alcohol abuse; Drug abuse; Drug use disorders; Emergency medicine; Technology; Computers
6.  Gender, violence and brief interventions for alcohol in the emergency department 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2012;127(0):115-121.
The impact of gender and violence on brief interventions (BIs) for alcohol use in the emergency department (ED) has not been studied. Our objective was to examine the effectiveness of alcohol BIs in an ED population stratified by gender and violence.
This was a secondary analysis of datasets pooled from three ED-based randomized controlled studies of alcohol BIs. AUDIT-C was the primary outcome measure; secondary outcomes were binge drinking and achievement of NIAAA safe drinking levels. We conducted univariate comparisons and developed generalized linear models (GLM) for the primary outcome and generalized estimating equation (GEE) models for secondary outcomes to examine the intervention effect on the whole study group, gender-stratified subgroups, and gender- and violence-stratified subgroups.
Of 1219 participants enrolled, 30% were female; 31% of women and 42% of men reported violence involvement at baseline. In univariate analysis, no differences in outcomes were found between intervention and control groups for any subgroup. However, in multivariable models, men demonstrated an intervention effect for likelihood of safe drinking limits. Stratifying further by violence, only men without violence involvement demonstrated a positive intervention effect for safe drinking limits. There was no evidence of an intervention effect on women.
Analyzing the overall effect of ED-based BI may mask its ability to improve alcohol-related outcomes in a subset of the population. Alternatively, interventions may need to be significantly improved in subsets of the ED population, e.g., in women and in men with involvement in violence.
PMCID: PMC4325369  PMID: 22818512
Alcohol-related disorders; Gender; Violence; Emergency medicine
7.  Lack of Gender Disparities in Emergency Department Triage of Acute Stroke Patients 
Previous literature has shown gender disparities in the care of acute ischemic stroke. Compared to men, women wait longer for brain imaging and are less likely to receive intravenous (IV) tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Emergency department (ED) triage is an important step in the rapid assessment of stroke patients and is a possible contributor to disparities. It is unknown whether gender differences exist in ED triage of acute stroke patients. Our primary objective was to determine whether gender disparities exist in the triage of acute stroke patients as defined by Emergency Severity Index (ESI) levels and use of ED critical care beds.
This was a retrospective, observational study of both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients age ≥18 years presenting to a large, urban, academic ED within six hours of symptom onset between January 2010, and December 2012. Primary outcomes were triage to a non-critical ED bed and Emergency Severity Index (ESI) level. Primary outcome data were extracted from electronic medical records by a blinded data manager; secondary outcome data and covariates were abstracted by trained research assistants. We performed bivariate and multivariate analyses. Logistic regression was performed using age, race, insurance status, mode of and time to arrival, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, and presence of atypical symptoms as covariates.
There were 537 patients included in this study. Women were older (75.6 vs. 69.5, p<0.001), and more women had a history of atrial fibrillation (39.8% vs. 25.3%, p<0.001). Compared to 9.5% of men, 10.3% of women were triaged to a non-critical care ED bed (p=0.77); 92.1% of women were triaged as ESI 1 or 2 vs. 93.6% of men (p=0.53). After adjustment, gender was not associated with triage location or ESI level, though atypical symptoms were associated with higher odds of being triaged to a non-critical care bed (aOR 1.98, 95%CI [1.03 – 3.81]) and 3.04 times higher odds of being triaged as ESI 3 vs. ESI 1 or 2 (95% CI [1.36 – 6.82]).
In a large, urban, academic ED at a primary stroke center, there were no gender differences in triage to critical care beds or ESI levels among acute stroke patients arriving within six hours of symptom onset. These findings suggest that ED triage protocols for stroke patients may be effective in minimizing gender disparities in care.
PMCID: PMC4307718  PMID: 25671042
9.  Impact of Gender on Patient Preferences for Technology-Based Behavioral Interventions 
Technology-based interventions offer an opportunity to address high-risk behaviors in the emergency department (ED). Prior studies suggest behavioral health strategies are more effective when gender differences are considered. However, the role of gender in ED patient preferences for technology-based interventions has not been examined. The objective was to assess whether patient preferences for technology-based interventions varies by gender.
This was a secondary analysis of data from a systematic survey of adult (≥18 years of age), English-speaking patients in a large urban academic ED. Subjects were randomly selected during a purposive sample of shifts. The iPad survey included questions on access to technology, preferences for receiving health information, and demographics. We defined “technology-based” as web, text message, e-mail, social networking, or DVD; “non-technology-based” was defined as in-person, written materials, or landline. We calculated descriptive statistics and used univariate tests to compare men and women. Gender-stratified multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine associations between other demographic factors (age, race, ethnicity, income) and technology-based preferences for information on specific risky behaviors.
Of 417 participants, 45.1% were male. There were no significant demographic differences between men and women. Women were more likely to use computers (90.8% versus 81.9%; p=0.03), Internet (66.8% versus 59.0%; p=0.03), and social networks (53.3% versus 42.6%; p=0.01). 89% of men and 90% of women preferred technology-based formats for at least type of health information; interest in technology-based for individual health topics did not vary by gender. Concern about confidentiality was the most common barrier to technology-based use for both genders. Multivariate analysis showed that for smoking, depression, drug/alcohol use, and injury prevention, gender modified the relationship between other demographic factors and preference for technology-based health information; e.g., older age decreases interest in technology-based information for smoking cessation in women but not in men (aOR 0.96, 95% CI 0.93-0.99 versus aOR 1.00, 95% CI 0.97-1.03).
Our findings suggest ED patients' gender may affect technology preferences. Receptivity to technology-based interventions may be a complex interaction between gender and other demographic factors. Considering gender may help target ED patient populations most likely to be receptive to technology-based interventions.
PMCID: PMC4140202  PMID: 25157307
10.  The Association between Emergency Department Resources and Diagnosis of Intimate Partner Violence 
There is little information about which intimate partner violence (IPV) policies and services assist in the identification of IPV in the emergency department (ED). The objective of this study was to examine the association between a variety of resources and documented IPV diagnoses.
Using billing data assembled from 21 Oregon EDs from 2001 to 2005, we identified patients assigned a discharge diagnosis of IPV. We then surveyed ED directors and nurse managers to gain information about IPV-related policies and services offered by participating hospitals. We combined billing data, survey results and hospital-level variables. Multivariate analysis assessed the likelihood of receiving a diagnosis of IPV depending on the policies and services available.
In 754,597 adult female ED visits, IPV was diagnosed 1,929 times. Mandatory IPV screening and victim advocates were the most commonly available IPV resources. The diagnosis of IPV was independently associated with the use of a standardized intervention checklist (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.04–2.82). Public displays regarding IPV were negatively associated with IPV diagnosis (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.35–0.88).
IPV remains a rare documented diagnosis. Most common hospital-level resources did not demonstrate an association with IPV diagnoses; however, a standardized intervention checklist may play a role in clinicians’ likelihood diagnosing IPV.
PMCID: PMC3296282  PMID: 22391615
domestic violence; spouse abuse; battering; hospital services; emergency medicine
11.  Patient preferences for emergency department-initiated tobacco interventions: a multicenter cross-sectional study of current smokers 
The emergency department (ED) visit provides a great opportunity to initiate interventions for smoking cessation. However, little is known about ED patient preferences for receiving smoking cessation interventions or correlates of interest in tobacco counseling.
ED patients at 10 US medical centers were surveyed about preferences for hypothetical smoking cessation interventions and specific counseling styles. Multivariable linear regression determined correlates of receptivity to bedside counseling.
Three hundred seventy-five patients were enrolled; 46% smoked at least one pack of cigarettes per day, and 11% had a smoking-related diagnosis. Most participants (75%) reported interest in at least one intervention. Medications were the most popular (e.g., nicotine replacement therapy, 54%), followed by linkages to hotlines or other outpatient counseling (33-42%), then counseling during the ED visit (33%). Counseling styles rated most favorably involved individualized feedback (54%), avoidance skill-building (53%), and emphasis on autonomy (53%). In univariable analysis, age (r = 0.09), gender (average Likert score = 2.75 for men, 2.42 for women), education (average Likert score = 2.92 for non-high school graduates, 2.44 for high school graduates), and presence of smoking-related symptoms (r = 0.10) were significant at the p < 0.10 level and thus were retained for the final model. In multivariable linear regression, male gender, lower education, and smoking-related symptoms were independent correlates of increased receptivity to ED-based smoking counseling.
In this multicenter study, smokers reported receptivity to ED-initiated interventions. However, there was variability in individual preferences for intervention type and counseling styles. To be effective in reducing smoking among its patients, the ED should offer a range of tobacco intervention options.
PMCID: PMC3414814  PMID: 22966410
Smoking; Tobacco; Cigarettes; Emergency medicine; Counseling; Patient preference

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