Emergency provider analgesic practices and attitudes toward patients with sickle cell disease

Journal Article

Study objective: We determine whether emergency provider attitudes and demographics are associated with adherence to national guidelines for the management of acute sickle cell disease pain. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of emergency providers at the 2011 annual American College of Emergency Physicians Scientific Assembly, using a validated instrument to assess provider attitudes and self-reported analgesic practices toward patients with sickle cell disease. Multivariable, relative risk regressions were used to identify factors associated with adherence to guidelines. Results: There were 722 eligible participants, with a 93% complete response rate. Most providers self-reported adherence to the cornerstones of sickle cell disease pain management, including parenteral opioids (90%) and redosing opioids within 30 minutes if analgesia is inadequate (85%). Self-reported adherence was lower for other recommendations, including use of patient-controlled analgesia, acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and hypotonic fluids for euvolemic patients. Emergency providers in the highest quartile of negative attitudes were 20% less likely to redose opioids within 30 minutes for inadequate analgesia (risk ratio 0.8; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.7 to 0.9). High-volume providers (those who treat more than 1 sickle cell disease patient per week), were less likely to redose opioids within 30 minutes for inadequate analgesia (risk ratio 0.9; 95% CI 0.8 to 0.9). Pediatric providers were 6.6 times more likely to use patient-controlled analgesia for analgesia (95% CI 2.6 to 16.6). Conclusion: The majority of emergency providers report that they adhere to national guidelines about use of opioids for sickle cell disease-related acute pain episodes. Other recommendations have less penetration. Negative attitudes toward individuals with sickle cell disease are associated with lower adherence to guidelines. © 2013 American College of Emergency Physicians.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Glassberg, JA; Tanabe, P; Chow, A; Harper, K; Jr, CH; Debaun, MR; Richardson, LD

Published Date

  • 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 62 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 293 - 302.e10

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0196-0644

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2013.02.004