4088.0: Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - Board 8

Abstract #23637

Predictors of emergency room usage among drug users in Long Beach, CA

Grace L Reynolds1, Michele M. Wood2, Dennis G. Fisher, PhD3, and Fen Rhodes3. (1) Center for Behavioral Research and Services, Cal-State Long Beach CBRS, California State University Long Beach, 1090 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813, 562-495-2330, greynol2@csulb.edu, (2) Cal-State University Long Beach, (3) Center for Behavioral Research and Services, California State University Long Beach--Center for Behavioral Research and Services, 1090 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90813

Objective: To identify those factors associated with use/non-use of hospital emergency room (ER) services among drug users in Long Beach, California. Among those drug users who used an ER at least once in the six months after their baseline interview, to determine factors associated with using an ER multiple times.

Methods: 1728 out-of-treatment injection and non-injection drug users were recruited into a National Institute on Drug Abuse HIV risk prevention study. Baseline information was collected on drug and sex risk behaviors. At six-month follow-up, participants were asked if they had used hospital ER services since their baseline interview. Both logistic regression analysis and linear regression methods were used.

Results: 300 of the 1728 (17%) had used ER services at least once. Predictors of ever using the ER included having income from welfare, public assistance or food stamps (OR=1.59, 95% CI=1.2, 2.1), and having income from social security or disability (OR=2.23, 95% CI=1.6, 3.1). For those participants who used ER services at least once, only the number of times they had been told by a health care provider that they had chlamydia was significant in the linear regression model.

Conclusions: Among this cohort of drug users, income from public assistance programs was associated with ever using the services hospital ER. Previous diagnosis with chlamydia was associated with more frequent ER use.

Learning Objectives: To understand health services usage among drug users

Keywords: Drug Abuse, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 129th Annual Meeting of APHA