• Pain Scales in the ED: Can They Predict Admission for Abdominal Pain?

      Johnson, Annelyssa; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Sarko, John; Smith, Ed (The University of Arizona., 2013-03)
      OBJECTIVES and HYPOTHESIS: The purpose of this project was to assess whether pain scales have an association with the disposition of adult emergency department patients with abdominal pain. It is hypothesized that higher pain scores are associated with a greater likelihood of admission. METHODS: One hundred forty-nine patients (63 admitted and 86 discharged) 18 years and older who were evaluated for abdominal pain in the emergency department (ED) at Maricopa Medical Center were identified retrospectively through a case-control chart review. Demographic variables were compared to assess pain in different groups. Receiver operating characteristics curves (ROC) were created for initial, final, and change in pain scores. Logistic regression was performed to assess the interaction of the prespecified variables initial pain, presence of comorbidities, duration of pain, patient temperature, white blood cell count, and age. RESULTS: In an unadjusted analysis, patients with a higher initial pain score were admitted more often. There was no difference in final or change in pain score and disposition. Men had higher initial pain scores but women were more often admitted. No difference was found between races in pain scores. Patients with surgical diagnoses were admitted more often, and those with nonspecific or OB/GYN-related diagnoses were more often discharged. Patients were less likely to be admitted if imaging was not done. In an adjusted analysis, age was the only variable associated with an increased chance of admission, with an odds ratio of 1.048 (95% confidence interval 1.016-1.082) for each one-year increase. The initial pain score was not associated with admission in the adjusted analysis (odds ratio 1.095 (95% confidence interval 0.943-1.272)).