Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 155-158

A cross-sectional study of the self-report of stress among emergency department patients


1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Departments of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Injury Prevention Center, Rhode Island Hospital, USA
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Injury Prevention Center, Rhode Island Hospital, USA
3 Injury Prevention Center, Rhode Island Hospital, USA
4 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, USA
5 Departments of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ted D Nirenberg
Department of Emergency Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Departments of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Injury Prevention Center, Rhode Island Hospital
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.55325

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Background: There is a lack of information about the prevalence of stress and types of stressors experienced by Emergency Department (ED) patients. Objective: The present aim is to study the prevalence of stress, types of stressful situations and the relationship with other health issues within the ED population. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study performed in an ED at a level-1 urban trauma center for four months. An anonymous survey was offered to adult non critically ill patients who were admitted in the ED. They were divided on the basis of gender, age and level of stress and were asked about their demographics, reasons for their ED visit and health issues including stress, tobacco, alcohol and marijuana use, weight concern and health. Chi-square for the categorical variables and unpaired t-tests for continuous variables were conducted. Results: We interviewed 1797 patients, over 66% reported that they felt stressed on at least a weekly basis, and over 45% indicated that they felt stressed more than twice per week. While both young and old were equally stressed, females reported significantly more stress. Family, finances and work are the most frequently cited stressors. Different age groups reported different types of stressors. Overall, those patients reporting being stressed more frequently reported more high risk behaviors including cigarette and marijuana use and health problems including being overweight, being depressed, and having sleeping problems and chronic fatigue. Conclusions: Considering the high frequency of ED patients that report frequent stress and high risk behaviors, their ED visit may be an excellent opportunity to provide a referral or an intervention for stress reduction.


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