To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Drug abuse is a frequent factor in emergency department (ED) visits. Although commonly performed, qualitative testing of urine for drugs of abuse (u-DOA) is inherently limited in its ability to establish the identity, timing or dose of substances used. Previous studies have demonstrated these limitations, but their designs cannot be used to determine whether the results of u-DOA tests affect physicians’ patient care decisions. Our objective was to determine the impact of u-DOA testing on the care of patients who present to the ED.
All adults 18 years of age or older who had u-DOA testing in 2 urban teaching EDs were eligible. Victims of vehicular trauma or sexual assault were excluded. Just prior to communicating the results of u-DOA testing for a patient, an investigator interviewed the ordering physician or consultant physician about the patient care plans for that patient. Test results were then revealed, and the questions immediately repeated. This design isolated the impact of knowledge of u-DOA test results on physicians’ patient care decisions. Any intended changes in patient care plans reported by the interviewed physician were compared to a priori criteria for substantive change and then subsequently reviewed by an independent expert to determine whether that change was justified.
Of the 110 u-DOA test results studied and the resultant 133 opportunities to influence physician management plans, there were 4 reported changes in management. One management change was judged to be substantive, but none of the 4 reported changes were considered by the independent expert reviewer to be justified. Urine-DOA testing thus led to a justified change in management in 0/133 instances (95% confidence interval 0%–2.3%).
Urine-DOA is rarely helpful in guiding patient care decisions in the ED. The results of this study call into question the need for this test in the ED setting.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.