Patient Characteristics Associated With Episodes Of Agitation Or Aggression
Posted Date: Aug 2, 2021
- Investigator: Kristina Reinstatler
- Type of Study: Observational/Survey
Patient agitation is a common problem seen in emergency rooms and has continued to rise over the last decade. While there is no commonly accepted definition of agitation, it is often described as a behavioral disturbance involving excessive motor and or verbal activity. These behaviors can often lead to verbal or physical aggression, putting both patient and staff at risk for physical and psychological harm. This has been a significant problem for ED staff as the ACEP/ ANA survey showed that 70% of nursing staff and 47% of physicians were a victim of violence in the year 2018 alone. In addition to risk for staff safety, treatment of agitation episodes has been associated with a number of adverse events for patients including blunt chest trauma, aspiration, respiratory depression, and asphyxiation leading to cardiac arrest. Studies have remarked on the increased incidence of behavioral disturbances and begun to speculate on reasons for these situations. Many patient characteristics have been associated with increased rates of agitation including gender, history of violence, decompensated psychiatric illness, and the influence of mind-altering substances. However, some external factors, such as disagreement over treatment or disposition, have been suggested as well. There remains a need to more thoroughly analyze situations of behavioral disturbance and the associated patient characteristics which may be contributing to these situations. It is believed that with a more thorough understanding of the factors that contribute to episodes of behavioral disturbance, that more prompt interventions or preparations could be made in order to decrease risk to patients and providers. This retrospective review serves as an exploratory analysis to determine which patient characteristics, identifiable as discrete data elements in the electronic medical record, are associated with episodes of agitation. this study serves as an exploratory analysis to determine which patient characteristics, identifiable as discrete data elements in the electronic medical record, are associated with episodes of agitation. This information will be used to design interventions to improve care of the agitated patient.
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