The mission of the Department of Emergency Medicine is to be the preeminent Department of Emergency Medicine in the country by delivering excellent healthcare, with respect and dignity to all patients needing emergent or urgent care services; conducting ground-breaking research that enhances public health; and developing innovative educational programs for all levels of health care providers. This collection showcases journal articles and other publications written by faculty and researchers of the Department of Emergency Medicine.


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Recently Published

  • Challenges in Use of Practice-based Research Networks for a Medical Device Trial to Detect SARS-CoV-2

    Daly, Jeanette M; O'Connor, Laurel; Schmidt, Megan E; Ferrara, Laura K; Parang, Kim; Levy, Barcey T (2023-04-02)
    Introduction/objectives: Primary care practice-based research networks (PBRNs) participated in a point of care (POC) device study funded by by the National Institutes of Health and led by the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School (UMass) to speed the development, validation, and commercialization of POC tests to detect SARS-CoV-2. The purposes of this study were to describe the characteristics of participating PBRNs and their respective collaborators in this device trial and describe complications challenging its execution. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with lead personnel from participating PBRNs and UMass. Results: Four PBRNs and UMass were invited to participate and 3 PBRNs and UMass participated. This device trial recruited 321 subjects in 6 months; 65 subjects from PBRNs. Each PBRN and the academic medical center site enrolled and recruited subjects differently. Main challenges identified were having adequate clinic personnel to enroll and aid in consent and questionnaire completion, frequently changing inclusion/exclusion criteria, use of the digital electronic data collection platform, and having access to a -80°C freezer to store supplies. Discussion: This trial involved numerous researchers, primary care clinic leaders and staff, and academic center sponsored program staff and attorneys resulting in a resource-intensive endeavor to enroll 65 subjects in the real-world clinical setting of primary care PBRNs with the academic medical center enrolling the rest. Multiple obstacles to standing up the study were encountered by the PBRNS. Conclusions: Primary care PBRNs rely largely on the goodwill established between academic health centers and participating practices. For future investigations involving device studies, collaborating PBRN leaders should assess whether recruitment criteria may change, obtain detailed lists of equipment needed, and/or know if the study is likely to be halted suddenly to appropriately prepare their member practices.
  • Accuracy of physician self-estimation of time spent during patient care in the emergency department

    Reznek, Martin A; Mangolds, Virginia; Kotkowski, Kevin A; Samadian, Kian D; Joseph, James; Larkin, Celine (2023-03-13)
    Objective: Accurate measurement of physicians' time spent during patient care stands to inform emergency department (ED) improvement efforts. Direct observation is time consuming and cost prohibitive, so we sought to determine if physician self-estimation of time spent during patient care was accurate. Methods: We performed a prospective, convenience-sample study in which research assistants measured time spent by ED physicians in patient care. At the conclusion of each observed encounter, physicians estimated their time spent. Using Mann-Whitney U tests and Spearman's rho, we compared physician estimates to actual time spent and assessed for associations of encounter characteristics and physician estimation. Results: Among 214 encounters across 10 physicians, we observed a medium-sized correlation between actual and estimated time (Spearman's rho = 0.63, p < 0.001), and in aggregate, physicians underestimated time spent by a median of 0.1 min. An equal number of encounters were overestimated and underestimated. Underestimated encounters were underestimated by a median of 5.1 min (interquartile range [IQR] 2.5-9.8) and overestimated encounters were overestimated by a median of 4.3 min (IQR 2.5-11.6)-26.3% and 27.9% discrepancy, respectively. In terms of actual time spent, underestimated encounters (median 19.3 min, IQR 13.5-28.3) were significantly longer than overestimated encounters (median 15.3 min, IQR 11.3-20.5) (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Physician self-estimation of time spent was accurate in aggregate, providing evidence that it is a valid surrogate marker for larger-scale process improvement and research activities, but likely not at the encounter level. Investigations exploring mechanisms to augment physician self-estimation, including modeling and technological support, may yield pathways to make self-estimation valid also at the encounter level.
  • Performance of Rapid Antigen Tests Based on Symptom Onset and Close Contact Exposure: A secondary analysis from the Test Us At Home prospective cohort study [preprint]

    Herbert, Carly; Wang, Biqi; Lin, Honghuang; Hafer, Nathaniel; Pretz, Caitlin; Stamegna, Pamela; Tarrant, Seanan; Hartin, Paul; Ferranto, Julia; Behar, Stephanie; et al. (2023-02-24)
    Background: The performance of rapid antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 (Ag-RDT) in temporal relation to symptom onset or exposure is unknown, as is the impact of vaccination on this relationship. Objective: To evaluate the performance of Ag-RDT compared with RT-PCR based on day after symptom onset or exposure in order to decide on 'when to test'. Design setting and participants: The Test Us at Home study was a longitudinal cohort study that enrolled participants over 2 years old across the United States between October 18, 2021 and February 4, 2022. All participants were asked to conduct Ag-RDT and RT-PCR testing every 48 hours over a 15-day period. Participants with one or more symptoms during the study period were included in the Day Post Symptom Onset (DPSO) analyses, while those who reported a COVID-19 exposure were included in the Day Post Exposure (DPE) analysis. Exposure: Participants were asked to self-report any symptoms or known exposures to SARS-CoV-2 every 48-hours, immediately prior to conducting Ag-RDT and RT-PCR testing. The first day a participant reported one or more symptoms was termed DPSO 0, and the day of exposure was DPE 0. Vaccination status was self-reported. Main outcome and measures: Results of Ag-RDT were self-reported (positive, negative, or invalid) and RT-PCR results were analyzed by a central laboratory. Percent positivity of SARS-CoV-2 and sensitivity of Ag-RDT and RT-PCR by DPSO and DPE were stratified by vaccination status and calculated with 95% confidence intervals. Results: A total of 7,361 participants enrolled in the study. Among them, 2,086 (28.3%) and 546 (7.4%) participants were eligible for the DPSO and DPE analyses, respectively. Unvaccinated participants were nearly twice as likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 than vaccinated participants in event of symptoms (PCR+: 27.6% vs 10.1%) or exposure (PCR+: 43.8% vs. 22.2%). The highest proportion of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals tested positive on DPSO 2 and DPE 5-8. Performance of RT-PCR and Ag-RDT did not differ by vaccination status. Ag-RDT detected 78.0% (95% Confidence Interval: 72.56-82.61) of PCR-confirmed infections by DPSO 4. For exposed participants, Ag-RDT detected 84.9% (95% CI: 75.0-91.4) of PCR-confirmed infections by day five post-exposure (DPE 5). Conclusions and relevance: Performance of Ag-RDT and RT-PCR was highest on DPSO 0-2 and DPE 5 and did not differ by vaccination status. These data suggests that serial testing remains integral to enhancing the performance of Ag-RDT.
  • Experiences with Medications for Addiction Treatment Among Emergency Department Patients with Opioid Use Disorder

    Goldfine, Charlotte E; Chapman, Brittany P; Taylor, Melissa M; Bradley, Evan S; Carreiro, Stephanie; Rosen, Rochelle K; Babu, Kavita M; Lai, Jeffrey T (2023-02-22)
    Introduction: Medications for addiction treatment (MAT) are the evidence-based standard of care for treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD), but stigma continues to surround their use. We conducted an exploratory study to characterize perceptions of different types of MAT among people who use drugs. Methods: We conducted this qualitative study in adults with a history of non-medical opioid use who presented to an emergency department for complications of OUD. A semi-structured interview that explored knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes toward MAT was administered, and applied thematic analysis conducted. Results: We enrolled 20 adults. All participants had prior experience with MAT. Among participants indicating a preferred treatment modality, buprenorphine was the commonly favored agent. Previous experience with prolonged withdrawal symptoms upon MAT discontinuation and the perception of "trading one drug for another" were common reasons for reluctance to engage in agonist or partial-agonist therapy. While some participants preferred treatment with naltrexone, others were unwilling to initiate antagonist therapy due to fear of precipitated withdrawal. Most participants strongly considered the aversive nature of MAT discontinuation as a barrier to initiating treatment. Participants overall viewed MAT positively, but many had strong preferences for a particular agent. Conclusion: The anticipation of withdrawal symptoms during initiation and cessation of treatment affected willingness to engage in a specific therapy. Future educational materials for people who use drugs may focus on comparisons of respective benefits and drawbacks of agonists, partial agonists, and antagonists. Emergency clinicians must be prepared to answer questions about MAT discontinuation to effectively engage patients with OUD.
  • Presence of symptoms 6 weeks after COVID-19 among vaccinated and unvaccinated US healthcare personnel: a prospective cohort study

    Mohr, Nicholas M; Plumb, Ian D; Harland, Kari K; Pilishvili, Tamara; Fleming-Dutra, Katherine E; Krishnadasan, Anusha; Hoth, Karin F; Saydah, Sharon H; Mankoff, Zachary; Haran, John P; et al. (2023-02-02)
    Objectives: Although COVID-19 vaccines offer protection against infection and severe disease, there is limited information on the effect of vaccination on prolonged symptoms following COVID-19. Our objective was to determine differences in prevalence of prolonged symptoms 6 weeks after onset of COVID-19 among healthcare personnel (HCP) by vaccination status, and to assess differences in timing of return to work. Design: Cohort analysis of HCP with COVID-19 enrolled in a multicentre vaccine effectiveness study. HCP with COVID-19 between December 2020 and August 2021 were followed up 6 weeks after illness onset. Setting: Health systems in 12 US states. Participants: HCP participating in a vaccine effectiveness study were eligible for inclusion if they had laboratory-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 with mRNA vaccination (symptom onset ≥14 days after two doses) or no prior vaccination. Among 681 eligible participants, 419 (61%) completed a follow-up survey to assess symptoms reported 6 weeks after illness onset. Exposures: Two doses of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine compared with no COVID-19 vaccine. Main outcome measures: Prevalence of symptoms 6 weeks after onset of COVID-19 illness and days to return to work. Results: Among 419 HCP with COVID-19, 298 (71%) reported one or more COVID-like symptoms 6 weeks after illness onset, with a lower prevalence among vaccinated participants compared with unvaccinated participants (60.6% vs 79.1%; adjusted risk ratio 0.70, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.84). Following their illness, vaccinated HCP returned to work a median 2.0 days (95% CI 1.0 to 3.0) sooner than unvaccinated HCP (adjusted HR 1.37, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.79). Conclusions: Receipt of two doses of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine among HCP with COVID-19 illness was associated with decreased prevalence of COVID-like symptoms at 6 weeks and earlier return to work.
  • Operations Factors Associated with Emergency Department Length of Stay: Analysis of a National Operations Database

    Canellas, Maureen; Michael, Sean; Kotkowski, Kevin; Reznek, Martin (2023-01-31)
    Introduction: Prolonged emergency department (ED) length of stay (LOS) has been shown to adversely affect patient care. We sought to determine factors associated with ED LOS via analysis of a large, national, ED operations database. Methods: We performed retrospective, multivariable, linear regression modeling using the 2019 Emergency Department Benchmarking Alliance survey results to identify associated factors of ED LOS for admitted and discharged patients. Results: A total of 1,052 general and adult-only EDs responded to the survey. Median annual volume was 40,946. The median admit and discharge LOS were 289 minutes and 147 minutes, respectively. R-squared values for the admit and discharge models were 0.63 and 0.56 with out-of-sample R-squared values of 0.54 and 0.59, respectively. Both admit and discharge LOS were associated with academic designation, trauma level designation, annual volume, proportion of ED arrivals occurring via emergency medical services, median boarding, and use of a fast track. Additionally, admit LOS was associated with transfer-out percentage, and discharge LOS was associated with percentage of high Current Procedural Terminology, percentage of patients <18 years old, use of radiographs and computed tomography, and use of an intake physician. Conclusion: Models derived from a large, nationally representative cohort identified diverse associated factors of ED length of stay, several of which were not previously reported. Dominant within the LOS modeling were patient population characteristics and other factors extrinsic to ED operations, including boarding of admitted patients, which was associated with both admitted and discharged LOS. The results of the modeling have significant implications for ED process improvement and appropriate benchmarking.
  • ReachCare Mobile Apps for Patients Experiencing Suicidality in the Emergency Department: Development and Usability Testing Using Mixed Methods

    Larkin, Celine; Djamasbi, Soussan; Boudreaux, Edwin D; Varzgani, Fatima; Garner, Roscoe; Siddique, Mariam; Pietro, John; Tulu, Bengisu (2023-01-27)
    Background: Many individuals with suicide risk present to acute care settings such as emergency departments (EDs). However, staffing and time constraints mean that many EDs are not well equipped to deliver evidence-based interventions for patients experiencing suicidality. An existing intervention initiated in the ED for patients with suicide risk (Emergency Department Safety Assessment and Follow-up Evaluation [ED-SAFE]) has been found to be effective but faces trenchant barriers for widespread adoption. Objective: On the basis of the ED-SAFE intervention, we aimed to develop 2 apps for patients with suicide risk: a web app guiding patients through safety planning in the ED (ED app) and a smartphone app providing patients components of the ED-SAFE program on their phones after discharge (patient app). We then tested the usability of these apps with patients presenting to the ED with suicide risk. Methods: Using a user-centered design framework, we first developed user personas to explore the needs and characteristics of patients who are at risk for suicide using inputs from clinicians (n=3) and suicidologists (n=4). Next, we validated these personas during interviews with individuals with lived experience of suicidality (n=6) and used them to inform our application designs. We field-tested the apps with ED patients presenting with suicide risk (n=14) in 2 iterative cycles to assess their usability and engagement using a mixed methods approach. We also rated the quality and fidelity of the safety plans created. Results: We developed 2 interoperable and complementary apps. The first is a web app designed for use on a tablet device during ED admission that guides the patient by creating a safety plan using a chatbot-style interface. The second is a smartphone app for use after discharge and allows the patient to view, edit, and share their completed safety plan; access self-care education, helplines, and behavioral health referrals; and track follow-up appointments with the study clinician. The initial prototype usability testing (n=9) demonstrated satisfactory scores (ED app System Usability Scale [SUS], mean 78.6/100, SD 24.1; User Engagement Scale, mean 3.74/5, SD 0.72; patient app SUS, mean 81.7/100, SD 20.1). After refining the apps based on participant feedback, the second cycle testing (n=5) showed improvement (ED app SUS, mean 90.5/100, SD 9.9; User Engagement Scale, mean 4.07/5, SD 0.36; patient app SUS, mean 97.0/100, SD 1.9). The quality ratings for completed safety plans were satisfactory (Safety Planning Intervention Scoring Algorithm-Brief, mean 27.4, SD 3.4). Conclusions: By adopting a user-centered approach and creating personas to guide development, we were able to create apps for ED patients with suicide risk and obtain satisfactory usability, engagement, and quality scores. Developing digital health tools based on user-centered design principles that deliver evidence-based intervention components may help overcome trenchant implementation barriers in challenging health care settings.
  • Childhood adversities and risk of posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression following a motor vehicle collision in adulthood

    Ziobrowski, H N; Holt-Gosselin, B; Petukhova, M V; King, A J; Lee, S; House, S L; Beaudoin, F L; An, X; Stevens, J S; Zeng, D; et al. (2023-01-10)
    Aims: Childhood adversities (CAs) predict heightened risks of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive episode (MDE) among people exposed to adult traumatic events. Identifying which CAs put individuals at greatest risk for these adverse posttraumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) is important for targeting prevention interventions. Methods: Data came from n = 999 patients ages 18-75 presenting to 29 U.S. emergency departments after a motor vehicle collision (MVC) and followed for 3 months, the amount of time traditionally used to define chronic PTSD, in the Advancing Understanding of Recovery After Trauma (AURORA) study. Six CA types were self-reported at baseline: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect and bullying. Both dichotomous measures of ever experiencing each CA type and numeric measures of exposure frequency were included in the analysis. Risk ratios (RRs) of these CA measures as well as complex interactions among these measures were examined as predictors of APNS 3 months post-MVC. APNS was defined as meeting self-reported criteria for either PTSD based on the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 and/or MDE based on the PROMIS Depression Short-Form 8b. We controlled for pre-MVC lifetime histories of PTSD and MDE. We also examined mediating effects through peritraumatic symptoms assessed in the emergency department and PTSD and MDE assessed in 2-week and 8-week follow-up surveys. Analyses were carried out with robust Poisson regression models. Results: Most participants (90.9%) reported at least rarely having experienced some CA. Ever experiencing each CA other than emotional neglect was univariably associated with 3-month APNS (RRs = 1.31-1.60). Each CA frequency was also univariably associated with 3-month APNS (RRs = 1.65-2.45). In multivariable models, joint associations of CAs with 3-month APNS were additive, with frequency of emotional abuse (RR = 2.03; 95% CI = 1.43-2.87) and bullying (RR = 1.44; 95% CI = 0.99-2.10) being the strongest predictors. Control variable analyses found that these associations were largely explained by pre-MVC histories of PTSD and MDE. Conclusions: Although individuals who experience frequent emotional abuse and bullying in childhood have a heightened risk of experiencing APNS after an adult MVC, these associations are largely mediated by prior histories of PTSD and MDE.
  • Use of serial smartphone-based assessments to characterize diverse neuropsychiatric symptom trajectories in a large trauma survivor cohort

    Beaudoin, Francesca L; An, Xinming; Basu, Archana; Ji, Yinyao; Liu, Mochuan; Kessler, Ronald C; Doughtery, Robert F; Zeng, Donglin; Bollen, Kenneth A; House, Stacey L; et al. (2023-01-07)
    The authors sought to characterize adverse posttraumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) symptom trajectories across ten symptom domains (pain, depression, sleep, nightmares, avoidance, re-experiencing, anxiety, hyperarousal, somatic, and mental/fatigue symptoms) in a large, diverse, understudied sample of motor vehicle collision (MVC) survivors. More than two thousand MVC survivors were enrolled in the emergency department (ED) and completed a rotating battery of brief smartphone-based surveys over a 2-month period. Measurement models developed from survey item responses were used in latent growth curve/mixture modeling to characterize homogeneous symptom trajectories. Associations between individual trajectories and pre-trauma and peritraumatic characteristics and traditional outcomes were compared, along with associations within and between trajectories. APNS across all ten symptom domains were common in the first two months after trauma. Many risk factors and associations with high symptom burden trajectories were shared across domains. Both across and within traditional diagnostic boundaries, APNS trajectory intercepts, and slopes were substantially correlated. Across all domains, symptom severity in the immediate aftermath of trauma (trajectory intercepts) had the greatest influence on the outcome. An interactive data visualization tool was developed to allow readers to explore relationships of interest between individual characteristics, symptom trajectories, and traditional outcomes ( http://itr.med.unc.edu/aurora/parcoord/ ). Individuals presenting to the ED after MVC commonly experience a broad constellation of adverse posttraumatic symptoms. Many risk factors for diverse APNS are shared. Individuals diagnosed with a single traditional outcome should be screened for others. The utility of multidimensional categorizations that characterize individuals across traditional diagnostic domains should be explored.
  • Towards Device Agnostic Detection of Stress and Craving in Patients with Substance Use Disorder

    Shrestha, Sloke; Stapp, Joshua; Taylor, Melissa; Leach, Rebecca; Carreiro, Stephanie; Indic, Premananda (2023-01-03)
    Novel technologies have great potential to improve the treatment of individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) and to reduce the current high rate of relapse (i.e. return to drug use). Wearable sensor-based systems that continuously measure physiology can provide information about behavior and opportunities for real-time interventions. We have previously developed an mHealth system which includes a wearable sensor, a mobile phone app, and a cloud-based server with embedded machine learning algorithms which detect stress and craving. The system functions as a just-in-time intervention tool to help patients de-escalate and as a tool for clinicians to tailor treatment based on stress and craving patterns observed. However, in our pilot work we found that to deploy the system to diverse socioeconomic populations and to increase usability, the system must be able to work efficiently with cost-effective and popular commercial wearable devices. To make the system device agnostic, methods to transform the data from a commercially available wearable for use in algorithms developed from research grade wearable sensor are proposed. The accuracy of these transformations in detecting stress and craving in individuals with SUD is further explored.
  • How do emergency medicine applicants evaluate residency programs in the post-COVID-19 era?

    Mackey, Cassandra; Feldman, Jacob; Peng, Cynthia; Way, David P; Messman, Anne (2022-11-09)
    Objectives: Pandemic disruptions to interviews and away rotations led applicants to rely on alternative sources of information about residency programs. We sought to compare program characteristics important to emergency medicine (EM)-bound applicants from before and after the pandemic. We also investigated the sources of information pandemic impacted applicants used during residency recruitment. Methods: This was a multi-institutional, cross-sectional survey of applicants to EM residency programs. We asked applicants about important factors in choosing a program and compared their response to results from 2019 National Residency Match Program. We also asked about alternative information sources used during this time of restricted access to programs of interest. Results: We surveyed 414 applicants from 40 medical schools and attained a response rate of 38.4%. Compared to 2019 applicants, our respondents identified morale of residents and quality of faculty as important factors in choosing a residency. Our subjects cited websites of the program and hospital affiliate, current residents, faculty/mentor advice, Reddit, and Doximity as sources of program information. Conclusions: Compared to 2019, our EM-bound applicants who, because of the pandemic, were unable to visit programs of interest valued resident morale and faculty quality as factors in choosing a residency program. Without in-person visits, our subjects also had to use both virtual resources (e.g., websites) and traditional sources (e.g., mentor advice) to investigate a program's culture, reputation, and diversity and inclusion. Residency programs should monitor their online presence now that this has become an alternative source of information for applicants during curtailment of in-person visits.
  • SARS-CoV-2 Serosurveys: How antigen, isotype and threshold choices affect the outcome

    Binder, Raquel A; Fujimori, Gavin F; Forconi, Catherine S; Reed, George W; Silva, Leandro S; Lakshmi, Priya Saikumar; Higgins, Amanda; Cincotta, Lindsey; Dutta, Protiva; Salive, Marie-Claire; et al. (2022-10-31)
    Background: Evaluating the performance of SARS-CoV-2 serological assays and clearly articulating the utility of selected antigen, isotypes and thresholds is crucial to understanding the prevalence of infection within selected communities. Methods: This cross-sectional study, implemented in 2020, screened PCR-confirmed COVID-19 patients (n = 86), banked pre-pandemic and negative donors (n = 96), health care workers and family members (n = 552), and university employees (n = 327) for anti-SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD), trimeric spike protein (S), and nucleocapsid protein (N) IgG and IgA antibodies with a laboratory developed Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and tested how antigen, isotype and threshold choices affected the seroprevalence. The following threshold methods were evaluated: (i) mean + 3 standard deviations of the negative controls; (ii) 100% specificity for each antigen/isotype combination; and (iii) the maximal Youden index. Results: We found vastly different seroprevalence estimates depending on selected antigens, isotypes and the applied threshold method, ranging from 0.0% to 85.4% . Subsequently, we maximized specificity and reported a seroprevalence, based on more than one antigen, ranging from 9.3% to 25.9%. Conclusions: This study revealed the importance of evaluating serosurvey tools for antigen, isotype, and threshold-specific sensitivity and specificity, in order to interpret qualitative serosurvey outcomes reliably and consistently across studies.
  • Media and technology usage and attitudes in emergency department patients

    Goldfine, C E; Knapp, A; Goodman, G R; Hasdianda, M A; Huang, H; Marshall, A D; Keschner, Y G; Carreiro, Stephanie; Jambaulikar, G; Chai, P R (2022-10-31)
    Introduction: Digital health technologies are increasingly being used in emergency medicine, many of which utilize smartphones and computers. Patient willingness to use these modalities is an important factor in successful implementation. Therefore, this study aimed to assess emergency department (ED) patients' use of and attitudes towards technology. Methods: This was a pooled sub-analysis of ED patients (≥18 years old) that were enrolled in two studies evaluating the ED patient experience in response to novel technological interventions. Participants completed the Media and Technology Usage and Attitudes Scale (MTUAS) that assessed computer and smartphone ownership; frequency of use of phone calls, texting, email, and smartphones; and anxiety and dependence attitudes on these technologies. Results: One hundred and forty-four participants completed the survey. Mean age was 47.2 years (SD 17.94); 61.8% were female; and 61.1% were white. There was high usage of smartphones (93.1%) and computers (74.3%). Participants most frequently used phone calling and texting and least commonly used email. Participants had a positive attitude (mean 3.9/5, SD 0.68) towards the use of these technologies. Discussion: ED patients reported high ownership of smartphones and computers, had a positive attitude towards their use, and had varying frequency with which they used different technologies. Future studies can use this information to inform the development of digital health interventions that utilize technologies that patients find most acceptable.
  • A framework for the design and implementation of Stop the Bleed and public access trauma equipment programs

    Levy, Matthew J; Krohmer, Jon; Goralnick, Eric; Charlton, Nathan; Nemeth, Ira; Jacobs, Lenworth; Goolsby, Craig A (2022-10-27)
    Traumatic injuries remain the leading cause of death for those under the age of 44 years old. Nearly a third of those who die from trauma do so from bleeding. Reducing death from severe bleeding requires training in the recognition and treatment of life-threatening bleeding, as well as programs to ensure immediate access to bleeding control resources. The Stop the Bleed (STB) initiative seeks to educate and empower people to be immediate responders and provide control of life-threatening bleeding until emergency medical services arrive. Well-planned and implemented STB programs will help ensure program effectiveness, minimize variability, and provide long-term sustainment. Comprehensive STB programs foster consistency, promote access to bleeding control education, contain a framework to guide the acquisition and placement of equipment, and promote the use of these resources at the time of a bleeding emergency. We leveraged the expertise and experience of the Stop the Bleed Education Consortium to create a resource document to help inform and guide STB program developers and implementers on the key areas for consideration when crafting strategy. These areas include (1) equipment selection, (2) logistics and kit placement, (3) educational program accessibility and implementation, and (4) program oversight, facilitation, and administration.
  • Perceptions on wearable sensor-based interventions for monitoring of opioid therapy: A qualitative study

    Chapman, Brittany P; Lucey, Evan; Boyer, Edward W; Babu, Kavita M; Smelson, David; Carreiro, Stephanie (2022-10-21)
    Prescription opioid use is a risk factor for the development of opioid use disorder. Digital solutions, including wearable sensors, represent a promising opportunity for health monitoring, risk stratification and harm reduction in this treatment space. However, data on their usability and acceptability in individuals using opioids is limited. To address this gap, factors that impact usability and acceptability of wearable sensor-based opioid detection were qualitatively studied in participants enrolled in a wearable sensor-based opioid monitoring research study. At the conclusion of the monitoring period, participants were invited to take part in semi-structured interviews developed based on the technology acceptance model. Thematic analysis was conducted first using deductive, then inductive coding strategies. Forty-four participants completed the interview; approximately half were female. Major emergent themes include sensor usability, change in behavior and thought process related to sensor use, perceived usefulness in sensor-based monitoring, and willingness to have opioid use patterns monitored. Overall acceptance for sensor-based monitoring was high. Aesthetics, simplicity, and seamless functioning were all reported as key to usability. Perceived behavior changes related to monitoring were infrequent while perceived usefulness in monitoring was frequently projected onto others, requiring careful consideration regarding intervention development and targeting. Specifically, care must be taken to avoid stigma associated with opioid use and implied misuse. The design of sensor systems targeted for opioid use must also consider the physical, social, and cognitive alterations inherent in the respective disease processes compared to routine daily life.
  • Feasibility of At-Home Serial Testing Using Over-the-Counter SARS-CoV-2 Tests With a Digital Smartphone App for Assistance: Longitudinal Cohort Study

    Herbert, Carly; Broach, John; Heetderks, William; Qashu, Felicia; Gibson, Laura; Pretz, Caitlin; Woods, Kelsey; Kheterpal, Vik; Suvarna, Thejas; Nowak, Christopher; et al. (2022-10-18)
    Background: The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic necessitates the development of accurate, rapid, and affordable diagnostics to help curb disease transmission, morbidity, and mortality. Rapid antigen tests are important tools for scaling up testing for SARS-CoV-2; however, little is known about individuals' use of rapid antigen tests at home and how to facilitate the user experience. Objective: This study aimed to describe the feasibility and acceptability of serial self-testing with rapid antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2, including need for assistance and the reliability of self-interpretation. Methods: A total of 206 adults in the United States with smartphones were enrolled in this single-arm feasibility study in February and March 2021. All participants were asked to self-test for COVID-19 at home using rapid antigen tests daily for 14 days and use a smartphone app for testing assistance and to report their results. The main outcomes were adherence to the testing schedule, the acceptability of testing and smartphone app experiences, and the reliability of participants versus study team's interpretation of test results. Descriptive statistics were used to report the acceptability, adherence, overall rating, and experience of using the at-home test and MyDataHelps app. The usability, acceptability, adherence, and quality of at-home testing were analyzed across different sociodemographic, age, and educational attainment groups. Results: Of the 206 enrolled participants, 189 (91.7%) and 159 (77.2%) completed testing and follow-up surveys, respectively. In total, 51.3% (97/189) of study participants were women, the average age was 40.7 years, 34.4% (65/189) were non-White, and 82% (155/189) had a bachelor's degree or higher. Most (n=133/206, 64.6%) participants showed high testing adherence, meaning they completed over 75% of the assigned tests. Participants' interpretations of test results demonstrated high agreement (2106/2130, 98.9%) with the study verified results, with a κ score of 0.29 (P<.001). Participants reported high satisfaction with self-testing and the smartphone app, with 98.7% (157/159) reporting that they would recommend the self-test and smartphone app to others. These results were consistent across age, race/ethnicity, and gender. Conclusions: Participants' high adherence to the recommended testing schedule, significant reliability between participants and study staff's test interpretation, and the acceptability of the smartphone app and self-test indicate that self-tests for SARS-CoV-2 with a smartphone app for assistance and reporting is a highly feasible testing modality among a diverse population of adults in the United States.
  • Established Outpatient Care and Follow-Up After Acute Psychiatric Service Use Among Youths and Young Adults

    Hugunin, Julie; Davis, Maryann; Larkin, Celine; Baek, Jonggyu; Skehan, Brian; Lapane, Kate L (2022-10-12)
    Objective: This study explored follow-up after hospitalization and emergency room (ER) use for mental health among youths and young adults with private insurance. Methods: The IBM MarketScan commercial database (2013-2018) was used to identify people ages 12-27 with a mental health hospitalization (N=95,153) or ER use (N=108,576). Factors associated with outpatient mental health follow-up within 7 and 30 days of discharge were determined via logistic models with generalized estimating equations that accounted for state variation. Results: Of those hospitalized, 42.7% received follow-up within 7 days (67.4% within 30 days). Of those with ER use, 28.6% received follow-up within 7 days (46.4% within 30 days). Type of established outpatient care predicted follow-up after hospitalization and ER use. Compared with people with no established care, the likelihood of receiving follow-up within 7 days was highest among those with mental health and primary care (hospitalization, adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.81, 95% confidence interval [CI]=2.68-2.94; ER use, AOR=4.06, 95% CI=3.72-4.42), followed by those with mental health care only (hospitalization, AOR=2.57, 95% CI=2.45-2.70; ER use, AOR=3.48, 95% CI=3.17-3.82) and those with primary care only (hospitalization, AOR=1.20, 95% CI=1.15-1.26; ER use, AOR=1.22, 95% CI=1.16-1.28). Similar trends were observed within 30 days of discharge. Conclusions: Follow-up rates after acute mental health service use among youths and young adults were suboptimal. Having established mental health care more strongly predicted receiving follow-up than did having established primary care. Improving engagement with outpatient mental health care providers may increase follow-up rates.
  • Comparison of Rapid Antigen Tests' Performance Between Delta and Omicron Variants of SARS-CoV-2 : A Secondary Analysis From a Serial Home Self-testing Study

    Soni, Apurv; Herbert, Carly; Filippaios, Andreas; Broach, John; Colubri, Andres; Fahey, Nisha; Woods, Kelsey; Nanavati, Janvi; Wright, Colton; Orwig, Taylor; et al. (2022-10-11)
    Background: It is important to document the performance of rapid antigen tests (Ag-RDTs) in detecting SARS-CoV-2 variants. Objective: To compare the performance of Ag-RDTs in detecting the Delta (B.1.617.2) and Omicron (B.1.1.529) variants of SARS-CoV-2. Design: Secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study that enrolled participants between 18 October 2021 and 24 January 2022. Participants did Ag-RDTs and collected samples for reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing every 48 hours for 15 days. Setting: The parent study enrolled participants throughout the mainland United States through a digital platform. All participants self-collected anterior nasal swabs for rapid antigen testing and RT-PCR testing. All Ag-RDTs were completed at home, whereas nasal swabs for RT-PCR were shipped to a central laboratory. Participants: Of 7349 participants enrolled in the parent study, 5779 asymptomatic persons who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 on day 1 of the study were eligible for this substudy. Measurements: Sensitivity of Ag-RDTs on the same day as the first positive (index) RT-PCR result and 48 hours after the first positive RT-PCR result. Results: A total of 207 participants were positive on RT-PCR (58 Delta, 149 Omicron). Differences in sensitivity between variants were not statistically significant (same day: Delta, 15.5% [95% CI, 6.2% to 24.8%] vs. Omicron, 22.1% [CI, 15.5% to 28.8%]; at 48 hours: Delta, 44.8% [CI, 32.0% to 57.6%] vs. Omicron, 49.7% [CI, 41.6% to 57.6%]). Among 109 participants who had RT-PCR-positive results for 48 hours, rapid antigen sensitivity did not differ significantly between Delta- and Omicron-infected participants (48-hour sensitivity: Delta, 81.5% [CI, 66.8% to 96.1%] vs. Omicron, 78.0% [CI, 69.1% to 87.0%]). Only 7.2% of the 69 participants with RT-PCR-positive results for shorter than 48 hours tested positive by Ag-RDT within 1 week; those with Delta infections remained consistently negative on Ag-RDTs. Limitation: A testing frequency of 48 hours does not allow a finer temporal resolution of the analysis of test performance, and the results of Ag-RDTs are based on self-report. Conclusion: The performance of Ag-RDTs in persons infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is not inferior to that in persons with Delta infections. Serial testing improved the sensitivity of Ag-RDTs for both variants. The performance of rapid antigen testing varies on the basis of duration of RT-PCR positivity. Primary funding source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
  • 2021 SAEM Consensus Conference Proceedings: Research Priorities for Developing Emergency Department Screening Tools for Social Risks and Needs

    Furbacher, Jacqueline; Fockele, Callan; Buono, Ben Del; Janneck, Laura; March, Cooper; Molina, Melanie; Duber, Herbet C; Doran, Kelly M; Lin, Michelle P; Cooper, Richelle J; et al. (2022-10-10)
    Introduction: The Emergency Department (ED) acts as a safety net for our healthcare system. While studies have shown increased prevalence of social risks and needs among ED patients, there are many outstanding questions about the validity and use of social risks and needs screening tools in the ED setting. Methods: In this paper, we present research gaps and priorities pertaining to social risks and needs screening tools used in the ED, identified through a consensus approach informed by literature review and external expert feedback as part of the 2021 SAEM Consensus Conference -- From Bedside to Policy: Advancing Social Emergency Medicine and Population Health. Results: Four overarching research gaps were identified: (1) Defining the purpose and ethical implications of ED-based screening; (2) Identifying domains of social risks and needs; (3) Developing and validating screening tools; and (4) Defining the patient population and type of screening performed. Furthermore, the following research questions were determined to be of highest priority: (1) What screening tools should be used to identify social risks and needs? (2) Should individual EDs use a national standard screening tools or customized screening tools? (3) What are the most prevalent social risks and needs in the ED? and (4) Which social risks and needs are most amenable to intervention in the ED setting? Conclusion: Answering these research questions will facilitate the use of evidence-based social risks and needs screening tools that address knowledge gaps and improve the health of our communities by better understanding the underlying determinants contributing to their presentation and health outcomes.
  • Oropharyngeal microbiome profiled at admission is predictive of the need for respiratory support among COVID-19 patients

    Bradley, Evan S; Zeamer, Abigail L; Bucci, Vanni; Cincotta, Lindsey; Salive, Marie-Claire; Dutta, Protiva; Mutaawe, Shafik; Anya, Otuwe; Tocci, Christopher; Moormann, Ann; et al. (2022-09-30)
    The oropharyngeal microbiome, the collective genomes of the community of microorganisms that colonizes the upper respiratory tract, is thought to influence the clinical course of infection by respiratory viruses, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of Coronavirus Infectious Disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this study, we examined the oropharyngeal microbiome of suspected COVID-19 patients presenting to the Emergency Department and an inpatient COVID-19 unit with symptoms of acute COVID-19. Of 115 initially enrolled patients, 50 had positive molecular testing for COVID-19+ and had symptom duration of 14 days or less. These patients were analyzed further as progression of disease could most likely be attributed to acute COVID-19 and less likely a secondary process. Of these, 38 (76%) went on to require some form of supplemental oxygen support. To identify functional patterns associated with respiratory illness requiring respiratory support, we applied an interpretable random forest classification machine learning pipeline to shotgun metagenomic sequencing data and select clinical covariates. When combined with clinical factors, both species and metabolic pathways abundance-based models were found to be highly predictive of the need for respiratory support (F1-score 0.857 for microbes and 0.821 for functional pathways). To determine biologically meaningful and highly predictive signals in the microbiome, we applied the Stable and Interpretable RUle Set to the output of the models. This analysis revealed that low abundance of two commensal organisms, Prevotella salivae or Veillonella infantium (< 4.2 and 1.7% respectively), and a low abundance of a pathway associated with LPS biosynthesis (< 0.1%) were highly predictive of developing the need for acute respiratory support (82 and 91.4% respectively). These findings suggest that the composition of the oropharyngeal microbiome in COVID-19 patients may play a role in determining who will suffer from severe disease manifestations.

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