Higher daily pain severity after emergency department visits is associated with lower return-to-work rates.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Pain can impair functional status, including a patient's ability to return to work. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was an association between pain levels and return-to-work status during the first 4 days post-ED discharge in ED patients seen for undifferentiated acute pain. METHODS: This secondary analysis of data from the Acute Management of Pain from the Emergency Department (AMPED) registry included patients who reported working either full-time or part-time. We used Cox regression models to examine the association between daily self-reported minimum and maximum pain scores and first return to work. We used repeated measures logistic regression models to examine the association between daily minimum and maximum pain scores and daily return-to-work status. RESULTS: Of the 610 employed patients, 481 (78.9%) were employed full-time and 129 (21.1%) part-time. The average delay in returning to work after ED visit was 2.4 days. For all models, higher minimum and maximum daily pain scores predicted lower daily return-to-work rates in the first four days post-ED discharge. The adjusted hazards ratios for first return to work were 0.91 (0.87, 0.96) and 0.93 (0.89, 0.97), while the adjusted odds ratios for daily return-to-work status were 0.80 (0.75, 0.85) and 0.88 (0.83, 0.93) for every one-point increase in minimum and maximum pain scores, respectively. CONCLUSION: Higher daily pain severity is associated with decreased return-to-work after ED visits for acute pain, highlighting the importance of adequate discharge pain management from the ED.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Eucker, SA; Manandhar, P; Arulraja, K; Agnihotri, D; Pollack, CV; Freiermuth, C

Published Date

  • July 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 45 /

Start / End Page

  • 48 - 53

PubMed ID

  • 33657503

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-8171

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ajem.2021.02.040


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States