Pain Scores among Emergency Department (ED) Patients: Comparison by ED Diagnosis
The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 07/17/2012
Marco CA et al. – Emergency Department (ED) patients report a wide variety of pain scores. Factors associated with higher pain scores included younger age, female gender, African American race, Medicaid insurance status, multiple ED visits in the past year, and ED diagnoses of sickle cell crisis, back/neck/shoulder pain, and headache.Methods
- In this retrospective exploratory chart review, eligible participants included all adult ED patients age 18years and over, with a self–reported triage pain score of 1 or higher during January–June 2011.
- Data were collected from ED electronic medical records.
- Among 1229 patients, the mean age was 44years; 56% of patients were female, and 59% were white.
- The mean triage pain score for all patients was 7.1 (interquartile range 6–9).
- The most common reported diagnoses included: minor injuries (10%), abdominal pain (8%), and respiratory infections (8%).
- The diagnoses with the highest mean pain scores were: sickle cell crisis (mean pain score 8.7), back/neck/shoulder pain (8.5), and headache/migraine (8.3).
- Higher pain scores were significantly correlated with younger age (p<0.001) and number of ED visits (p<0.001).
- Demographic factors including female gender, African American race, and Medicaid insurance reported significantly higher pain scores (p<0.001).
- Patients with multiple ED visits in the recent 12months reported significantly higher pain scores (p<0.001).