Social and medical vulnerability factors of frequent users at the emergency department: a case-control study


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Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
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Abstract (Abstract): shot summary in a article that contain essentials elements presented during a scientific conference, lecture or from a poster.
Social and medical vulnerability factors of frequent users at the emergency department: a case-control study
Title of the conference
33rd Annual Meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine
Bodenmann Patrick, Daeppen Jean-Bernard, Vaucher Paul, Bieler Gilles, Althaus Fabrice, Paroz Sophie, Trueb Lionel, Faouzi Mohamed
Minneapolis (MN) - United States, 18 April - 1 May 2010
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Journal of General Internal Medicine
Meeting Abstract
Up to 5% of patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) four or more times within a 12 month period represent 21% of total ED visits. In this study we sought to characterize social and medical vulnerability factors of ED frequent users (FUs) and to explore if these factors hold simultaneously.
We performed a case-control study at Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland. Patients over 18 years presenting to the ED at least once within the study period (April 2008 toMarch 2009) were included. FUs were defined as patients with four or more ED visits within the previous 12 months. Outcome data were extracted from medical records of the first ED attendance within the study period. Outcomes included basic demographics and social variables, ED admission diagnosis, somatic and psychiatric days hospitalized over 12 months, and having a primary care
physician.We calculated the percentage of FUs and non-FUs having at least one social and one medical vulnerability factor. The four chosen social factors included: unemployed and/or dependence on government welfare, institutionalized and/or without fixed residence, either separated, divorced or widowed, and under guardianship. The fourmedical vulnerability factors
were: ≥6 somatic days hospitalized, ≥1 psychiatric days hospitalized, ≥5 clinical departments used (all three factors measured over 12 months), and ED admission diagnosis of alcohol and/or drug abuse. Univariate and multivariate logistical regression analyses allowed comparison of two JGIM ABSTRACTS S391 random samples of 354 FUs and 354 non-FUs (statistical power 0.9, alpha 0.05 for all outcomes except gender, country of birth, and insurance type).
FUs accounted for 7.7% of ED patients and 24.9% of ED visits. Univariate logistic regression showed that FUs were older (mean age 49.8 vs. 45.2 yrs, p=0.003),more often separated and/or divorced (17.5%vs. 13.9%, p=0.029) or widowed (13.8% vs. 8.8%, p=0.029), and either unemployed or dependent on government welfare (31.3% vs. 13.3%, p<0.001), compared to non-FUs. FUs cumulated more days hospitalized over 12 months (mean number of somatic days per patient 1.0 vs. 0.3, p<0.001; mean number of psychiatric days per patient 0.12 vs. 0.03, p<0.001). The two groups were similar regarding gender distribution (females 51.7% vs. 48.3%). The multivariate linear regression model was based on the six most significant factors identified by univariate analysis The model showed that FUs had more social problems, as they were more likely to be institutionalized or not have a fixed residence (OR 4.62; 95% CI, 1.65 to 12.93), and to be unemployed or dependent on government welfare (OR 2.03; 95% CI, 1.31 to 3.14) compared to non-FUs. FUs were more likely to need medical care, as indicated by involvement of≥5 clinical departments over 12 months (OR 6.2; 95%CI, 3.74 to 10.15), having an ED admission diagnosis of substance abuse (OR 3.23; 95% CI, 1.23 to 8.46) and having a primary care physician (OR 1.70;95%CI, 1.13 to 2.56); however, they were less likely to present with an admission diagnosis of injury (OR 0.64; 95% CI, 0.40 to 1.00) compared to non-FUs. FUs were more likely to combine at least one social with one medical vulnerability factor (38.4% vs. 12.1%, OR 7.74; 95% CI 5.03 to 11.93).
FUs were more likely than non-FUs to have social and medical vulnerability factors and to have multiple factors in combination.
Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/utilization , Patients , Socioeconomic Factors , Switzerland , Vaud
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01/09/2010 15:28
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