Predictive model of multiple emergency department visits among adults: analysis of the data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: In this methodological paper, we use a novel, predictive approach to examine how demographics, substance use, mental and other health indicators predict multiple visits (≥3) to emergency departments (ED) within a year. METHODS: State-of-the-art predictive methods were used to evaluate predictive ability and factors predicting multiple visits to ED within a year and to identify factors that influenced the strength of the prediction. The analysis used public-use datasets from the 2015-2018 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which used the same questionnaire on the variables of interest. Analysis focused on adults aged ≥18 years. Several predictive models (regressions, trees, and random forests) were validated and compared on independent datasets. RESULTS: Predictive ability on a test set for multiple ED visits (≥3 times within a year) measured as the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) reached 0.8, which is good for a national survey. Models revealed consistency in predictive factors across the 4 survey years. The most influential variables for predicting ≥3 ED visits per year were fair/poor self-rated health, being nervous or restless/fidgety, having a lower income, asthma, heart condition/disease, having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), nicotine dependence, African-American race, female sex, having diabetes, and being of younger age (18-20). CONCLUSIONS: The findings reveal the need to address behavioral and mental health contributors to ED visits and reinforce the importance of developing integrated care models in primary care settings to improve mental health for medically vulnerable patients. The presented modeling approach can be broadly applied to national and other large surveys.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bobashev, G; Warren, L; Wu, L-T

Published Date

  • March 25, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 280 -

PubMed ID

  • 33766009

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7995604

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1472-6963

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s12913-021-06221-w


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England