Emotionally evocative patients in the emergency department: a mixed methods investigation of providers' reported emotions and implications for patient safety.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Emergency department (ED) physicians and nurses frequently interact with emotionally evocative patients, which can impact clinical decision-making and behaviour. This study introduces well-established methods from social psychology to investigate ED providers' reported emotional experiences and engagement in their own recent patient encounters, as well as perceived effects of emotion on patient care. METHODS:Ninety-four experienced ED providers (50 physicians and 44 nurses) vividly recalled and wrote about three recent patient encounters (qualitative data): one that elicited anger/frustration/irritation (angry encounter), one that elicited happiness/satisfaction/appreciation (positive encounter), and one with a patient with a mental health condition (mental health encounter). Providers rated their emotions and engagement in each encounter (quantitative data), and reported their perception of whether and how their emotions impacted their clinical decision-making and behaviour (qualitative data). RESULTS:Providers generated 282 encounter descriptions. Emotions reported in angry and mental health encounters were remarkably similar, highly negative, and associated with reports of low provider engagement compared with positive encounters. Providers reported their emotions influenced their clinical decision-making and behaviour most frequently in angry encounters, followed by mental health and then positive encounters. Emotions in angry and mental health encounters were associated with increased perceptions of patient safety risks; emotions in positive encounters were associated with perceptions of higher quality care. CONCLUSIONS:Positive and negative emotions can influence clinical decision-making and impact patient safety. Findings underscore the need for (1) education and training initiatives to promote awareness of emotional influences and to consider strategies for managing these influences, and (2) a comprehensive research agenda to facilitate discovery of evidence-based interventions to mitigate emotion-induced patient safety risks. The current work lays the foundation for testing novel interventions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite calls to study how healthcare providers' emotions may impact patient safety, little research has addressed this topic. The current study aimed to develop a comprehensive understanding of emergency department (ED) providers' emotional experiences, including what triggers their emotions, the perceived effects of emotions on clinical decision making and patient care, and strategies providers use to manage their emotions to reduce patient safety risks. METHODS:Employing grounded theory, we conducted 86 semi-structured qualitative interviews with experienced ED providers (45 physicians and 41 nurses) from four academic medical centres and four community hospitals in the Northeastern USA. Constant comparative analysis was used to develop a grounded model of provider emotions and patient safety in the ED. RESULTS:ED providers reported experiencing a wide range of emotions in response to patient, hospital, and system-level factors. Patients triggered both positive and negative emotions; hospital and system-level factors largely triggered negative emotions. Providers expressed awareness of possible adverse effects of negative emotions on clinical decision making, highlighting concerns about patient safety. Providers described strategies they employ to regulate their emotions, including emotional suppression, distraction, and cognitive reappraisal. Many providers believed that these strategies effectively guarded against the risk of emotions negatively influencing their clinical decision making. CONCLUSION:The role of emotions in patient safety is in its early stages and many opportunities exist for researchers, educators, and clinicians to further address this important issue. Our findings highlight the need for future work to (1) determine whether providers' emotion regulation strategies are effective at mitigating patient safety risk, (2) incorporate emotional intelligence training into healthcare education, and (3) shift the cultural norms in medicine to support meaningful discourse around emotions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) sexual and gender minorities (SGM) face unique challenges in mental health and accessing high-quality health care. OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to identify barriers and facilitators for shared decision making (SDM) between AAPI SGM and providers, especially surrounding mental health. RESEARCH DESIGN:Interviews, focus groups, and surveys. SUBJECTS:AAPI SGM interviewees in Chicago (n=20) and San Francisco (n=20). Two focus groups (n=10) in San Francisco. MEASURES:Participants were asked open-ended questions about their health care experiences and how their identities impacted these encounters. Follow-up probes explored SDM and mental health. Participants were also surveyed about attitudes towards SGM disclosure and preferences about providers. Transcripts were analyzed for themes and a conceptual model was developed. RESULTS:Our conceptual model elucidates the patient, provider, and encounter-centered factors that feed into SDM for AAPI SGM. Some participants shared the stigma of SGM identities and mental health in their AAPI families. Their AAPI and SGM identities were intertwined in affecting mental health. Some providers inappropriately controlled the visibility of the patient's identities, ignoring or overemphasizing them. Participants varied on whether they preferred a provider of the same race, and how prominently their AAPI and/or SGM identities affected SDM. CONCLUSIONS:Providers should understand identity-specific challenges for AAPI SGM to engage in SDM. Providers should self-educate about AAPI and SGM history and intracommunity heterogeneity before the encounter, create a safe environment conducive to patient disclosure of SGM identity, and ask questions about patient priorities for the visit, pronouns, and mental health.
Project description:PURPOSE:Shared decision-making is currently not widely implemented in breast cancer care. Encounter decision aids support shared decision-making by helping patients and physicians compare treatment options. So far, little was known about adaptation needs for translated encounter decision aids, and encounter decision aids for breast cancer treatments were not available in Germany. This study aimed to adapt and evaluate the implementation of two encounter decision aids on breast cancer treatments in routine care. METHODS:We conducted a multi-phase qualitative study: (1) translation of two breast cancer Option Grid™ decision aids; comparison to national clinical standards; cognitive interviews to test patients' understanding; (2) focus groups to assess acceptability; (3) testing in routine care using participant observation. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. RESULTS:Physicians and patients reacted positively to the idea of encounter decision aids, and reported being interested in using them; patients were most receptive. Several adaptation cycles were necessary. Uncertainty about feasibility of using encounter decision aids in clinical settings was the main physician-reported barrier. During real-world testing (N = 77 encounters), physicians used encounter decision aids in one-third of potentially relevant encounters. However, they did not use the encounter decision aids to stimulate dialogue, which is contrary to their original scope and purpose. CONCLUSIONS:The idea of using encounter decision aids was welcomed, but more by patients than by physicians. Adaptation was a complex process and required resources. Clinicians did not follow suggested strategies for using encounter decision aids. Our study indicates that production of encounter decision aids alone will not lead to successful implementation, and has to be accompanied by training of health care providers.
Project description:Gender differences in communication styles between clinicians and patients have been postulated to impact patient care, but the extent to which the gender dyad structure impacts outcomes in shared decision making remains unclear.Participant-level meta-analysis of 775 clinical encounters within 7 randomized trials where decision aids, shared decision making tools, were used at the point of care. Outcomes analysed include decisional conflict scale scores, satisfaction with the clinical encounter, concordance between stated decision and action taken, and degree of patient engagement by the clinician using the OPTION scale. An estimated minimal important difference was used to determine if nonsignificant results could be explained by low power.We did not find a statistically significant interaction between clinician/patient gender mix and arm for decisional conflict, satisfaction with the clinical encounter or patient engagement. A borderline significant interaction (p = 0.05) was observed for one outcome: concordance between stated decision and action taken, where encounters with female clinician/male patient showed increased concordance in the decision aid arm compared to control (8% more concordant encounters). All other gender dyads showed decreased concordance with decision aid use (6% fewer concordant encounters for same-gender, 16% fewer concordant encounters for male clinician/female patient).In this participant-level meta-analysis of 7 randomized trials, decision aids used at the point of care demonstrated comparable efficacy across gender dyads. Purported barriers to shared decision making based on gender were not detected when tested for a minimum detected difference.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00888537, NCT01077037, NCT01029288, NCT00388050, NCT00578981, NCT00949611, NCT00217061.
Project description:Nearly 2 million patients visit emergency departments (EDs) because of eye concerns annually in the United States. How hospitals currently assign these patients to treatment is important for designing systems that equitably allocate resources for eye care in urgent settings.To investigate factors associated with ophthalmology consultation for eye-related adult ED encounters to assess possible disparities by sex, race/ethnicity, language preference, or residential distance from the medical center.Retrospective observational study of 13 361 adult ED encounters associated with an eye-related billing diagnosis between January 1, 2010, and September 30, 2015, at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.Measures available from the University of Michigan clinical data warehouse included age, sex, race/ethnicity, preferred language, home distance from the ED, calendar year of encounter, and Charlson-Deyo Comorbidity Index score.Association of the ED encounter with ophthalmology consultation. An ophthalmology consultation was identified by cross-referencing ophthalmology faculty and clinical instructors from 2010 to 2015 against billing providers for consultations using the Charlson-Deyo Comorbidity Index score and billing codes. Measures included patient age, sex, race/ethnicity, home address, preferred language (English vs non-English), and calendar year of encounter.Among the 13 361 encounters, 6840 (51.2%) involved a female patient. Mean (SD) age at encounter was 50.7 (19.3) years; 10 033 patients (75.1%) were of white and 1969 (14.7%) of black race/ethnicity. English was the preferred language for 13 022 patients (97.5%). The ophthalmology service was consulted in 5289 encounters (39.6%). Black patients had significantly lower odds of an ophthalmology consultation than white patients (odds ratio [OR], 0.85; 95% CI, 0.75-0.96). Patients who preferred a non-English language had significantly lower odds of receiving an ophthalmology consultation (OR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.55-0.98).Many of the 13 361 eye-related ED encounters were managed by ED clinicians with no ophthalmology consultation. Patients who were black or who preferred a language other than English were less likely to have an ophthalmologist involved in their care. The associations found in this observational study do not imply causation but suggest disparities in care that should be further investigated.
Project description:Importance:Shared decision-making (SDM) about anticoagulant treatment in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is widely recommended but its effectiveness is unclear. Objective:To assess the extent to which the use of an SDM tool affects the quality of SDM and anticoagulant treatment decisions in at-risk patients with AF. Design, Setting, and Participants:This encounter-randomized trial recruited patients with nonvalvular AF who were considering starting or reviewing anticoagulant treatment and their clinicians at academic, community, and safety-net medical centers between January 30, 2017 and June 27, 2019. Encounters were randomized to either the standard care arm or care that included the use of an SDM tool (intervention arm). Data were analyzed from August 1 to November 30, 2019. Interventions:Standard care or care using the Anticoagulation Choice Shared Decision Making tool (which presents individualized risk estimates and compares anticoagulant treatment options across issues of importance to patients) during the clinical encounter. Main Outcomes and Measures:Quality of SDM (which included quality of communication, patient knowledge about AF and anticoagulant treatment, accuracy of patient estimates of their own stroke risk [within 30% of their estimate], decisional conflict, and satisfaction), decisions made during the encounter, duration of the encounter, and clinician involvement of patients in the SDM process. Results:The clinical trial enrolled 922 patients (559 men [60.6%]; mean [SD] age, 71  years) and 244 clinicians. A total of 463 patients were randomized to the intervention arm and 459 patients to the standard care arm. Participants in both arms reported high communication quality, high knowledge, and low decisional conflict, demonstrated low accuracy in their risk perception, and would similarly recommend the approach used in their encounter. Clinicians were significantly more satisfied after intervention encounters (400 of 453 encounters [88.3%] vs 277 of 448 encounters [61.8%]; adjusted relative risk, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.42-1.53). A total of 747 of 873 patients (85.6%) chose to start or continue receiving an anticoagulant medication. Patient involvement in decision-making (as assessed through video recordings of the encounters using the Observing Patient Involvement in Decision Making 12-item scale) scores were significantly higher in the intervention arm (mean [SD] score, 33.0 [10.8] points vs 29.1 [13.1] points, respectively; adjusted mean difference, 4.2 points; 95% CI, 2.8-5.6 points). No significant between-arm difference was found in encounter duration (mean [SD] duration, 32  minutes in the intervention arm vs 31  minutes in the standard care arm; adjusted mean between-arm difference, 1.1; 95% CI, -0.3 to 2.5 minutes). Conclusion and Relevance:The use of an SDM encounter tool improved several measures of SDM quality and clinician satisfaction, with no significant effect on treatment decisions or encounter duration. These results help to calibrate expectations about the value of implementing SDM tools in the care of patients with AF. Trial Registration:ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02905032.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Eliciting patient concerns and listening carefully to them contributes to patient-centered care. Yet, clinicians often fail to elicit the patient's agenda and, when they do, they interrupt the patient's discourse.<h4>Objective</h4>We aimed to describe the extent to which patients' concerns are elicited across different clinical settings and how shared decision-making tools impact agenda elicitation.<h4>Design and participants</h4>We performed a secondary analysis of a random sample of 112 clinical encounters recorded during trials testing the efficacy of shared decision-making tools.<h4>Main measures</h4>Two reviewers, working independently, characterized the elicitation of the patient agenda and the time to interruption or to complete statement; we analyzed the distribution of agenda elicitation according to setting and use of shared decision-making tools.<h4>Key results</h4>Clinicians elicited the patient's agenda in 40 of 112 (36%) encounters. Agendas were elicited more often in primary care (30/61 encounters, 49%) than in specialty care (10/51 encounters, 20%); p?=?.058. Shared decision-making tools did not affect the likelihood of eliciting the patient's agenda (34 vs. 37% in encounters with and without these tools; p?=?.09). In 27 of the 40 (67%) encounters in which clinicians elicited patient concerns, the clinician interrupted the patient after a median of 11 seconds (interquartile range 7-22; range 3 to 234 s). Uninterrupted patients took a median of 6 s (interquartile range 3-19; range 2 to 108 s) to state their concern.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Clinicians seldom elicit the patient's agenda; when they do, they interrupt patients sooner than previously reported. Physicians in specialty care elicited the patient's agenda less often compared to physicians in primary care. Failure to elicit the patient's agenda reduces the chance that clinicians will orient the priorities of a clinical encounter toward specific aspects that matter to each patient.
Project description:Objective. Effective care attends to relevant patient life context. We tested whether a patient-completed inventory helps providers contextualize care and increases patients' perception of patient-centered care (PCC). Method. The inventory listed six red flags (e.g., emergency room visits) and if the patient checked any, prompted for related contextual factors (e.g., transportation difficulties). Patients were randomized to complete the inventory or watch health videos prior to their visit. Patients presented their inventory results to providers during audio-recorded encounters. Audios were coded for physician probing and incorporating context in care plans. Patients completed the Consultation and Relational Empathy (CARE) instrument after the encounter. Results. A total of 272 Veterans were randomized. Adjusting for covariates and clustering within providers, inventory patients rated visits as more patient-centered (44.5; standard error = 1.1) than controls (42.7, standard error = 1.1, P = 0.04, CARE range = 10-50). Providers were more likely to probe red flags (odds ratio = 1.54; confidence interval = 1.07-2.22; P = 0.02) when receiving the inventory, but not incorporating context into care planning. Conclusion. A previsit inventory of life context increased perceptions of PCC and providers' likelihood of exploring context but not contextualizing care. Information about patients' life challenges is not sufficient to assure that context informs provider decision making even when provided at the point of care by patients themselves.
Project description:Telephone communication is common between healthcare providers and patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We analyzed telephone activity at an IBD care center to identify disease and patient characteristics associated with high levels of telephone activity and determine if call volume could identify individuals at risk for future visits to the emergency department (ED) or hospitalization.We performed a prospective observational study in which we categorized telephone calls received by nursing staff over 2 years at a tertiary care IBD clinic (2475 patients in 2009 and 3118 in 2010). We analyzed data on 21,979 ingoing and outgoing calls in 2009 and 32,667 calls in 2010 and assessed associations between clinical factors and logged telephone encounters, and between patterns of telephone encounters and future visits to the ED or hospitalization.Telephone encounters occurred twice as frequently as office visits; 15% of the patients generated >10 telephone encounters per year and were responsible for half of all telephone encounters. A higher percentage of these high telephone encounter (HTE) patients were female, had Crohn's disease, received steroid treatment, had increased levels of C-reactive protein and rates of erythrocyte sedimentation, had psychiatric comorbidities, and had chronic abdominal pain than patients with lower telephone encounters. The HTE patients were also more frequently seen in the ED or hospitalized over the same time period and in subsequent years. Forty-two percent of patients with >8 telephone encounters within 30 days were seen in the ED or hospitalized within the subsequent 12 months.Based on an analysis of telephone records at an IBD clinic, 15% of patients account for half of all calls. These HTE patients are a heterogeneous group with refractory disease who are likely to visit the ED or be hospitalized.
Project description:Comparative effectiveness research (CER) documents important differences in antidepressants in terms of efficacy, safety, cost, and burden to the patient. Decision aids can adapt this evidence to help patients participate in making informed choices. In turn, antidepressant therapy will more likely reflect patients' values and context, leading to improved adherence and mood outcomes.The objective of this study is to develop the Depression Medication Choice decision aid for use during primary care encounters, and to test its efficacy by conducting a clustered practical randomized trial comparing the decision aid to usual depression care in primary care practices.We will use a novel practice-based, patient-centered approach based on participatory action research that involves a multidisciplinary team of designers, investigators, clinicians, patient representatives, and other stakeholders for the development of the decision aid. We will then conduct a clustered practical randomized trial enrolling clinicians and their patients (n = 300) with moderate to severe depression from rural, suburban and inner city primary care practices (n = 10). The intervention will consist of the use of the depression medication choice decision aid during the clinical encounter. This trial will generate preliminary evidence of the relative impact of the decision aid on patient involvement in decision making, decision making quality, patient knowledge, and 6-month measures of medication adherence and mental health compared to usual depression care.Upon completion of the proposed research, we will have developed and evaluated the efficacy of the decision aid depression medication choice as a novel translational tool for CER in depression treatment, engaged patients with depression in their care, and refined the process by which we conduct practice-based trials with limited research footprint.Clinical Trials.gov: NCT01502891.