A comparison of methods to identify alcohol involvement in youth injury-related emergency department presentation data

Vallmuur, Kirsten, Limbong, Jesani, Barker, Ruth, & Hides, Leanne (2013) A comparison of methods to identify alcohol involvement in youth injury-related emergency department presentation data. Drug and Alcohol Review, 32(5), pp. 519-526.

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Aims: To compare different methods for identifying alcohol involvement in injury-related emergency department presentation in Queensland youth, and to explore the alcohol terminology used in triage text.

Methods: Emergency Department Information System data were provided for patients aged 12-24 years with an injury-related diagnosis code for a 5 year period 2006-2010 presenting to a Queensland emergency department (N=348895). Three approaches were used to estimate alcohol involvement: 1) analysis of coded data, 2) mining of triage text, and 3) estimation using an adaptation of alcohol attributable fractions (AAF). Cases were identified as ‘alcohol-involved’ by code and text, as well as AAF weighted.

Results: Around 6.4% of these injury presentations overall had some documentation of alcohol involvement, with higher proportions of alcohol involvement documented for 18-24 year olds, females, indigenous youth, where presentations occurred on a Saturday or Sunday, and where presentations occurred between midnight and 5am. The most common alcohol terms identified for all subgroups were generic alcohol terms (eg. ETOH or alcohol) with almost half of the cases where alcohol involvement was documented having a generic alcohol term recorded in the triage text.

Conclusions: Emergency department data is a useful source of information for identification of high risk sub-groups to target intervention opportunities, though it is not a reliable source of data for incidence or trend estimation in its current unstandardised form. Improving the accuracy and consistency of identification, documenting and coding of alcohol-involvement at the point of data capture in the emergency department is the most desirable long term approach to produce a more solid evidence base to support policy and practice in this field.

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ID Code: 67119
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: alcohol-related injury, surveillance, youth, emergency department, text mining
DOI: 10.1111/dar.12051
ISSN: 0959-5236
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance) (111711)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com
Deposited On: 10 Feb 2014 22:10
Last Modified: 26 May 2015 12:41

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