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Work-Related Fatigue Among Indonesian Offshore Oil and Gas Workers

Occup Med (Lond). 2024 May 29:kqae040. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqae040. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Work-related fatigue, combined with shift work and prolonged work hours, has a significant effect, contributing to increasing accident rate by 50-100%.

AIMS: To assess the level of work-related fatigue over a 4-week work period among offshore rig oil and gas workers in Indonesia.

METHODS: This cohort study evaluated acute fatigue, chronic fatigue, and intershift recovery scores among offshore oil and gas rig workers using the Occupational Fatigue Exhaustion Recovery 15 (OFER15) questionnaire. Fatigue levels were assessed weekly throughout the study duration, which was 4-week work period. Additionally, at the fourth week, participants were asked about psychosocial factors that could be potentially related to fatigue.

RESULTS: Of 67 participants, the average scores of acute and chronic fatigue were 30.0 and 33.3, and the scores had significantly increased over 4 weeks (P < 0.001). The intershift recovery scores statistically significantly decreased over 4 weeks (P < 0.001), and the differences between weeks (Week 1 versus 2, Week 1 versus 3 and Week 1 versus 4) were also statistically significant (P < 0.001). Acute and chronic fatigue scores had a significant positive correlation with psychological job demands and negatively correlated with influence at work and job satisfaction. Over 4 weeks, acute fatigue augmented chronic fatigue, while acute and chronic fatigue demanded a longer recovery.

CONCLUSIONS: Workers at the offshore rig experienced work fatigue during their on-duty periods, with the level of fatigue significantly increasing over the 4 weeks. Comprehensive fatigue management at offshore rigs is vital to mitigate work fatigue and minimize the risk of work-related accidents.

PMID:38809608 | DOI:10.1093/occmed/kqae040

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Safety of patient self-triage: real-life prospective evaluation of a symptom-checker in adult patients visiting an interdisciplinary emergency care center

J Med Internet Res. 2024 May 29. doi: 10.2196/58157. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Symptom-checkers have become important tools for self-triage, assisting patients to determine the urgency of medical care. To be safe and effective, these tools must be validated, particularly to avoid potential hazardous undertriage without leading to inefficient overtriage. Only limited safety data from studies including small sample sizes have been available so far.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to prospectively investigate the safety of patients’ self-triage in a large patient sample. We used SMASS pathfinder, a symptom-checker based on a computerized transparent neural network.

METHODS: We recruited 2543 patients into this single centre, prospective clinical trial conducted at the cantonal hospital of Baden, Switzerland. Patients with an Emergency Severity Index of 1-2 were treated by the team of the emergency department, while those with an index of 3-5 were seen at the walk-in clinic by general physicians. We compared the triage recommendation obtained by the patients’ self-triage with the assessment of the clinical urgency made by three successive interdisciplinary panels of physicians (Panel A, B, C). Using a Clopper-Pearson confidence interval, we assumed that in order to confirm the symptom-checkers safety, the upper confidence bound for the probability of a potentially hazardous undertriage should lie below 1%. A potentially hazardous undertriage was defined as a triage in which either all (consensus criterion) or the majority (majority criterion) of the experts of the last panel (Panel C) rated the triage of the symptom-checker to be “rather likely” or “likely” life-threatening or harmful.

RESULTS: Of the 2543 patients, 1227 (48.3%) were female and 1316 (51.7%) male. None of the patients reached the pre-specified consensus criterion for a potentially hazardous undertriage. This resulted in an upper 95% confidence bound of 0.1184%. 4 cases met the majority criterion. This resulted in an upper 95% confidence bound for the probability of a potentially hazardous undertriage of 0.3616%. The two-sided 95% Clopper-Pearson confidence interval for the probability of overtriage (450 cases, 17.7%) was 16.23% to 19.24%, which is considerably lower than figures reported in the literature.

CONCLUSIONS: The symptom-checker proved to be a safe triage tool, avoiding potentially hazardous undertriage in a real-life clinical setting of emergency consultations at a WIC/ED, whithout causing undesirable overtriage. Our data suggest the symptom-checker may be safely used in clinical routine.

CLINICALTRIAL: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT04055298.

PMID:38809606 | DOI:10.2196/58157

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Exploring Consumers’ Negative Electronic Word-of-Mouth of 5 Military Hospitals in Taiwan Through SERVQUAL and Flower of Services: Web Scraping Analysis

JMIR Form Res. 2024 May 29;8:e54334. doi: 10.2196/54334.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In recent years, with the widespread use of the internet, the influence of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) has been increasingly recognized, particularly the significance of negative eWOM, which has surpassed positive eWOM in importance. Such reviews play a pivotal role in research related to service industry management, particularly in intangible service sectors such as hospitals, where they have become a reference point for improving service quality.

OBJECTIVE: This study comprehensively collected negative eWOM from 5 military hospitals in Taiwan that were at or above the level of regional teaching hospitals. It aimed to investigate service quality issues before and after the pandemic. The findings provide important references for formulating strategies to improve service quality.

METHODS: In this study, we used web scraping techniques to gather 1259 valid negative eWOM, covering the period from the inception of the first review to December 31, 2022. These reviews were categorized using content analysis based on the modified Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry service quality (PZB SERVQUAL) scale and Flower of Services. Statistical data analysis was conducted to investigate the performance of service quality.

RESULTS: The annual count of negative reviews for each hospital has exhibited a consistent upward trajectory over the years, with a more pronounced increase following the onset of the pandemic. In the analysis, among the 5 dimensions of PZB SERVQUAL framework, the “Assurance” dimension yielded the least favorable results, registering a negative review rate as high as 58.3%. Closely trailing, the “Responsiveness” dimension recorded a negative review rate of 34.2%. When evaluating the service process, the subitem “In Service: Diagnosis/Examination/Medical/Hospitalization” exhibited the least satisfactory performance, with a negative review rate of 46.2%. This was followed by the subitem “In Service: Pre-diagnosis Waiting,” which had a negative review rate of 20.2%. To evaluate the average scores of negative reviews before and during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, independent sample t tests (2-tailed) were used. The analysis revealed statistically significant differences (P<.001). Furthermore, an ANOVA was conducted to investigate whether the length of the negative reviews impacted their ratings, which also showed significant differences (P=.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Before and during the pandemic, there were significant differences in evaluating hospital services, and a higher word count in negative reviews indicated greater dissatisfaction with the service. Therefore, it is recommended that hospitals establish more comprehensive service quality management mechanisms, carefully respond to negative reviews, and categorize significant service deficiencies as critical events to prevent a decrease in overall service quality. Furthermore, during the service process, customers are particularly concerned about the attitude and responsiveness of health care personnel in the treatment process. Therefore, hospitals should enhance training and management in this area.

PMID:38809602 | DOI:10.2196/54334

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Comparing Leadership Skills of Senior Emergency Medicine Residents in 3-Year Versus 4-Year Programs During Simulated Pediatric Resuscitation: A Pilot Study

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2024 May 30. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000003216. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The majority of pediatric patients in the United States (US) are evaluated and treated at general emergency departments. It is possible that discrepancies in length of emergency medicine (EM) residency training may allow for variable exposure to pediatric patients, critical resuscitations, and didactic events. The goal of this pilot study was to compare leadership skills of graduating EM residents from 3- to 4-year programs during simulated pediatric resuscitations using a previously validated leadership assessment tool, the Concise Assessment of Leader Management (CALM).

METHODS: This was a prospective, multicenter, simulation-based cohort pilot study that included graduating 3rd- and 4th-year EM resident physicians from 6 EM residency programs. We measured leadership performance across 3 simulated pediatric resuscitations (sepsis, seizure, cardiac arrest) using the CALM tool and compared leadership scores between the 3rd- and 4th-year resident cohorts. We also correlated leadership to self-efficacy scores.

RESULTS: Data was analyzed for 47 participating residents (24 3rd-year residents and 23 4th-year residents). Out of a total possible CALM score of 66, residents from 3-year programs scored 45.2 [SD ± 5.2], 46.8 [SD ± 5.0], and 46.6 [SD ± 4.7], whereas residents from 4-year programs scored 45.5 [SD ± 5.2], 46.4 [SD ± 5.0], and 48.2 [SD ± 4.3] during the sepsis, seizure, and cardiac arrest cases, respectively. The mean leadership score across all 3 cases for the 3-year cohort was 46.2 [SD ± 4.8] versus 46.7 [SD ± 4.5] (P = 0.715) for the 4-year cohort.

CONCLUSIONS: These data show feasibility for a larger cohort project and, while not statistically significant, suggest no difference in leadership skills between 3rd- and 4th-year EM residents in our study cohort. This pilot study provides the basis of future work that will assess a larger multicenter cohort with the hope to obtain a more generalizable dataset.

PMID:38809592 | DOI:10.1097/PEC.0000000000003216

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Feasibility and Acceptability of a Health App Platform Providing Individuals With a Budget to Purchase Preselected Apps to Work on Their Health and Well-Being: Quantitative Evaluation Study

JMIR Form Res. 2024 May 29;8:e51408. doi: 10.2196/51408.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The potential of health apps for health promotion and disease prevention is widely recognized. However, uptake is limited due to barriers individuals face in finding suitable and trustworthy apps, such as the overwhelming amount of available health apps. Therefore, the health app platform “FitKnip” was developed, enabling individuals to purchase preselected, trustworthy health apps with a budget of 100 euros (a currency exchange rate of EUR €1=US $1.0831 is applicable). The platform aimed to empower individuals to improve their health and vitality, ultimately supporting a more healthy society.

OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the health app platform in terms of feasibility and acceptability. Potential effects on health empowerment and health outcomes were secondarily explored.

METHODS: This quantitative study was part of a mixed methods study with a prospective pre-post interventional design. We collected web-based user data, and self-reported web-based questionnaires were collected over 5 measurements over an 8-month period. Use statistics were tracked on the platform, including the number of purchased apps and euros spent per user registered within the health app platform. We measured the user-friendliness of the health app platform using the System Usability Scale (SUS) and satisfaction using the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire-8 (CSQ-8) and several 10-point Likert items. We asked participants to indicate, on a scale from 1 (not at all) to 10 (completely), how much the health app platform contributed to various areas related to health empowerment. We assessed health-related quality of life by the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12) and one’s perceived level of stress by the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10).

RESULTS: A total of 1650 participants were included, of whom 42% (685/1650) bought at least 1 app. The majority of those purchased one app (244/685, 35.6%). The health app platform was rated as user-friendly (SUS mean 66.5, SD 20.7; range 66.5-70.0), and the acceptability of the health app platform was moderate (CSQ-8 mean 20.0, SD 1.5; range 19.6-20.0). Results furthermore showed that participants were generally satisfied to highly satisfied with the ease of the payment system to purchase apps on the platform (median 8, IQR 7-10), the look and feel of the platform (median 7, IQR 6-8), as well as the provided budget of 100 euros (median 9, IQR 7-10). Participants were less satisfied with the amount (median 6, IQR 4-7) and diversity (median 6, IQR 4-7) of apps offered on the platform.

CONCLUSIONS: A health app platform is a promising initiative to enhance public health. Feasibility and acceptability are critical for success, as they ensure that such a platform is accessible, user-friendly, and meets end users’ needs and preferences. This can help to increase uptake, engagement, and ultimately the platform’s adoption and effectiveness.

PMID:38809585 | DOI:10.2196/51408

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Differential Outcomes of Placebo Treatment Across 9 Psychiatric Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

JAMA Psychiatry. 2024 May 29. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2024.0994. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: Placebo is the only substance systematically evaluated across common psychiatric diagnoses, but comprehensive cross-diagnostic comparisons are lacking.

OBJECTIVE: To compare changes in placebo groups in recent high-quality randomized clinical trials (RCTs) across a broad spectrum of psychiatric disorders in adult patients.

DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were systematically searched in March 2022 for the latest systematic reviews meeting predetermined high-quality criteria for 9 major psychiatric diagnoses.

STUDY SELECTION: Using these reviews, the top 10 highest-quality (ie, lowest risk of bias, according to the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool) and most recent placebo-controlled RCTs per diagnosis (totaling 90 RCTs) were selected, adhering to predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria.

DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Following the Cochrane Handbook, 2 authors independently carried out the study search, selection, and data extraction. Cross-diagnosis comparisons were based on standardized pre-post effect sizes (mean change divided by its SD) for each placebo group. This study is reported following the Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) reporting guideline.

MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURE: The primary outcome, pooled pre-post placebo effect sizes (dav) with 95% CIs per diagnosis, was determined using random-effects meta-analyses. A Q test assessed statistical significance of differences across diagnoses. Heterogeneity and small-study effects were evaluated as appropriate.

RESULTS: A total of 90 RCTs with 9985 placebo-treated participants were included. Symptom severity improved with placebo in all diagnoses. Pooled pre-post placebo effect sizes differed across diagnoses (Q = 88.5; df = 8; P < .001), with major depressive disorder (dav = 1.40; 95% CI, 1.24-1.56) and generalized anxiety disorder (dav = 1.23; 95% CI, 1.06-1.41) exhibiting the largest dav. Panic disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, social phobia, and mania showed dav between 0.68 and 0.92, followed by OCD (dav = 0.65; 95% CI, 0.51-0.78) and schizophrenia (dav = 0.59; 95% CI, 0.41-0.76).

CONCLUSION AND RELEVANCE: This systematic review and meta-analysis found that symptom improvement with placebo treatment was substantial in all conditions but varied across the 9 included diagnoses. These findings may help in assessing the necessity and ethical justification of placebo controls, in evaluating treatment effects in uncontrolled studies, and in guiding patients in treatment decisions. These findings likely encompass the true placebo effect, natural disease course, and nonspecific effects.

PMID:38809560 | DOI:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2024.0994

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Domain-Specific Physical Activity and Stroke in Sweden

JAMA Netw Open. 2024 May 1;7(5):e2413453. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.13453.

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: Associations of domain-specific physical activity with stroke incidence and poststroke outcomes have not been extensively studied using long-term, population-based data.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate associations of leisure time, work time, transport, and household physical activity with stroke incidence and death or dependency in activities of daily living (ADL) 3 months after stroke.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The prospective, population-based Interplay Between Genetic Susceptibility and External Factors (INTERGENE) cohort study was conducted among a random sample of individuals from an urban-rural area covering western Sweden; 3614 individuals aged 24 to 77 years were examined in 2001 to 2004, and 1394 individuals were reexamined in 2014 to 2016. The median (range) follow-up was 20.0 years (56 days to 21.9 years). Data were analyzed from September through October 2023.

EXPOSURE: Physical activity levels were self-reported for leisure time, work time, transportation, and household domains. The mean number of steps taken over a 6-day period was collected in a subgroup of participants using a sealed pedometer.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Follow-up for stroke incidence and mortality rates continued until December 31, 2022. The composite outcome of death or ADL dependency was assessed at 3 months after stroke.

RESULTS: Among 3614 individuals (mean [SD] age, 51.4 [13.1] years; 1910 female [52.9%]); 269 individuals (7.4%) developed stroke, of whom 120 individuals (44.6%) were dead or ADL dependent at 3 months. Intermediate (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.54; 95% CI, 0.38-0.77) and high (aHR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.31-0.73) levels of leisure time physical activity were associated with a reduced incidence of stroke compared with low levels, as was an intermediate level of physical activity in transportation (aHR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.52-0.93). High levels of leisure time physical activity were also associated with a reduced risk of poststroke death or ADL dependency (adjusted odds ratio, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.16-0.71) compared with low levels. Work time and household physical activity were not associated with stroke incidence or stroke outcomes. In exploratory subgroup analyses, there were interactions between physical activity and smoking (current smoking or smoking in the past year associated with stroke risk only in participants with low or intermediate physical activity: aHR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.72-3.15) and family history of stroke (first-degree relative with a history of stroke associated with stroke risk only in participants with low or intermediate physical activity: aHR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.27-2.38).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this study, leisure time and transport-related physical activities were associated with a reduced risk of stroke. A high level of leisure time physical activity was also associated with a lower risk of death or ADL dependency 3 months after stroke.

PMID:38809556 | DOI:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.13453

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Sweetened Beverage Tax Implementation and Change in Body Mass Index Among Children in Seattle

JAMA Netw Open. 2024 May 1;7(5):e2413644. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.13644.

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: Sweetened beverage taxes have been associated with reduced purchasing of taxed beverages. However, few studies have assessed the association between sweetened beverage taxes and health outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between the Seattle sweetened beverage tax and change in body mass index (BMI) among children.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: In this longitudinal cohort study, anthropometric data were obtained from electronic medical records of 2 health care systems (Kaiser Permanente Washington [KP] and Seattle Children’s Hospital Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic [OBCC]). Children were included in the study if they were aged 2 to 18 years (between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2019); had at least 1 weight measurement every year between 2015 and 2019; lived in Seattle or in urban areas of 3 surrounding counties (King, Pierce, and Snohomish); had not moved between taxed (Seattle) and nontaxed areas; received primary health care from KP or OBCC; did not have a recent history of cancer, bariatric surgery, or pregnancy; and had biologically plausible height and BMI (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared). Data analysis was conducted between August 5, 2022, and March 4, 2024.

EXPOSURE: Seattle sweetened beverage tax (1.75 cents per ounce on sweetened beverages), implemented on January 1, 2018.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was BMIp95 (BMI expressed as a percentage of the 95th percentile; a newly recommended metric for assessing BMI change) of the reference population for age and sex, using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts. In the primary (synthetic difference-in-differences [SDID]) model used, a comparison sample was created by reweighting the comparison sample to optimize on matching to pretax trends in outcome among 6313 children in Seattle. Secondary models were within-person change models using 1 pretax measurement and 1 posttax measurement in 22 779 children and fine stratification weights to balance baseline individual and neighborhood-level confounders.

RESULTS: The primary SDID analysis included 6313 children (3041 female [48%] and 3272 male [52%]). More than a third of children (2383 [38%]) were aged 2 to 5 years); their mean (SE) age was 7.7 (0.6) years. With regard to race and ethnicity, 789 children (13%) were Asian, 631 (10%) were Black, 649 (10%) were Hispanic, and 3158 (50%) were White. The primary model results suggested that the Seattle tax was associated with a larger decrease in BMIp95 for children living in Seattle compared with those living in the comparison area (SDID: -0.90 percentage points [95% CI, -1.20 to -0.60]; P < .001). Results from secondary models were similar.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The findings of this cohort study suggest that the Seattle sweetened beverage tax was associated with a modest decrease in BMIp95 among children living in Seattle compared with children living in nearby nontaxed areas who were receiving care within the same health care systems. Taken together with existing studies in the US, these results suggest that sweetened beverage taxes may be an effective policy for improving children’s BMI. Future research should test this association using longitudinal data in other US cities with sweetened beverage taxes.

PMID:38809555 | DOI:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.13644

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Emergency Department Use Among Adults Receiving Dialysis

JAMA Netw Open. 2024 May 1;7(5):e2413754. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.13754.

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: People with kidney failure receiving maintenance dialysis visit the emergency department (ED) 3 times per year on average, which is 3- to 8-fold more often than the general population. Little is known about the factors that contribute to potentially preventable ED use in this population.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the clinical and sociodemographic factors associated with potentially preventable ED use among patients receiving maintenance dialysis.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cohort study used linked administrative health data within the Alberta Kidney Disease Network to identify adults aged 18 years or older receiving maintenance dialysis (ie, hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis) between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2019. Patients who had been receiving dialysis for more than 90 days were followed up from cohort entry (defined as dialysis start date plus 90 days) until death, outmigration from the province, receipt of a kidney transplant, or end of study follow-up. The Andersen behavioral model of health services was used as a conceptual framework to identify variables related to health care need, predisposing factors, and enabling factors. Data were analyzed in March 2024.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Rates of all-cause ED encounters and potentially preventable ED use associated with 4 kidney disease-specific ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (hyperkalemia, heart failure, volume overload, and malignant hypertension) were calculated. Multivariable negative binomial regression models were used to examine the association between clinical and sociodemographic factors and rates of potentially preventable ED use.

RESULTS: The cohort included 4925 adults (mean [SD] age, 60.8 [15.5] years; 3071 males [62.4%]) with kidney failure receiving maintenance hemodialysis (3183 patients) or peritoneal dialysis (1742 patients) who were followed up for a mean (SD) of 2.5 (2.0) years. In all, 3877 patients had 34 029 all-cause ED encounters (3100 [95% CI, 2996-3206] encounters per 1000 person-years). Of these, 755 patients (19.5%) had 1351 potentially preventable ED encounters (114 [95% CI, 105-124] encounters per 1000 person-years). Compared with patients with a nonpreventable ED encounter, patients with a potentially preventable ED encounter were more likely to be in the lowest income quintile (38.8% vs 30.9%; P < .001); to experience heart failure (46.8% vs 39.9%; P = .001), depression (36.6% vs 32.5%; P = .03), and chronic pain (60.1% vs 54.9%; P = .01); and to have a longer duration of dialysis (3.6 vs 2.6 years; P < .001). In multivariable regression analyses, potentially preventable ED use was higher for younger adults (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.69 [95% CI, 1.33-2.15] for those aged 18 to 44 years) and patients with chronic pain (IRR, 1.35 [95% CI, 1.14-1.61]), greater material deprivation (IRR, 1.57 [95% CI, 1.16-2.12]), a history of hyperkalemia (IRR, 1.31 [95% CI, 1.09-1.58]), and historically high ED use (ie, ≥3 ED encounters in the prior year; IRR, 1.46 [95% CI, 1.23-1.73).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this study of adults receiving maintenance dialysis in Alberta, Canada, among those with ED use, 1 in 5 had a potentially preventable ED encounter; reasons for such encounters were associated with both psychosocial and medical factors. The findings underscore the need for strategies that address social determinants of health to avert potentially preventable ED use in this population.

PMID:38809552 | DOI:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.13754

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Abortion Provision and Delays to Care in a Clinic Network in Washington State After Dobbs

JAMA Netw Open. 2024 May 1;7(5):e2413847. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.13847.

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: The Supreme Court decision Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization (Dobbs) overturned federal protections to abortion care and altered the reproductive health care landscape. Thus far, aggregated state-level data reveal increases in the number of abortions in states where abortion is still legal, but there is limited information on delays to care and changes in the characteristics of people accessing abortion in these states after Dobbs.

OBJECTIVE: To examine changes in abortion provision and delays to care after Dobbs.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Retrospective cohort study of all abortions performed at an independent, high-volume reproductive health care clinic network in Washington state from January 1, 2017, to July 31, 2023. Using an interrupted time series, the study assessed changes in abortion care after Dobbs.

EXPOSURE: Abortion care obtained after (June 24, 2022, to July 31, 2023) vs before (January 1, 2017, to June 23, 2022) Dobbs.

MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURE: Primary outcomes included weekly number of abortions and out-of-state patients and weekly average of gestational duration (days) and time to appointment (days).

RESULTS: Among the 18 379 abortions during the study period, most were procedural (13 192 abortions [72%]) and funded by public insurance (11 412 abortions [62%]). The mean (SD) age of individuals receiving abortion care was 28.5 (6.44) years. Following Dobbs, the number of procedural abortions per week increased by 6.35 (95% CI, 2.83-9.86), but then trended back toward pre-Dobbs levels. The number of out-of-state patients per week increased by 2 (95% CI, 1.1-3.6) and trends remained stable. The average gestational duration per week increased by 6.9 (95% CI, 3.6-10.2) days following Dobbs, primarily due to increased gestations of procedural abortions. The average gestational duration among out-of-state patients did not change following Dobbs, but it did increase by 6 days for in-state patients (5.9; 95% CI, 3.2-8.6 days). There were no significant changes in time to appointment.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These findings provide a detailed picture of changes in abortion provision and delays to care after Dobbs in a state bordering a total ban state. In this study, more people traveled from out of state to receive care and in-state patients sought care a week later in gestation. These findings can inform interventions and policies to improve access for all seeking abortion care.

PMID:38809551 | DOI:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.13847