Predictors of 72-h unscheduled return visits with admission in patients presenting to the emergency department with abdominal pain

Li Tsung Lin, Sheng Feng Lin, Chun Chieh Chao, Hui An Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Unscheduled return visits (URVs) to the emergency department (ED) constitute a crucial indicator of patient care quality. Objective: We aimed to analyze the clinical characteristics of patients who visited the ED with abdominal pain and to identify the risk of URVs with admission (URVAs) from URVs without admission (URVNAs). Methods: This retrospective study included adult patients who visited the ED of Taipei Medical University Hospital because of abdominal pain and revisited in 72 h over a 5-year period (January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2018). Multivariable logistic regression analysis was employed to identify risk factors for URVAs and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to determine the efficacy of variables predicting URVAs and the optimal cut-off points for the variables. In addition, a classification and regression tree (CART)-based scoring system was used for predicting risk of URVA. Results: Of 702 eligible patients with URVs related to abdominal pain, 249 had URVAs (35.5%). In multivariable analysis, risk factors for URVAs during the index visit included execution of laboratory tests (yes vs no: adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 4.32; 95% CI 2.99–6.23), older age (≥ 40 vs < 40 years: AOR, 2.10; 95% CI 1.10–1.34), Level 1–2 triage scores (Levels 1–2 vs Levels 3–5: AOR, 2.30; 95% CI 1.26–4.19), and use of ≥ 2 analgesics (≥ 2 vs < 2: AOR, 2.90; 95% CI 1.58–5.30). ROC curve analysis results revealed the combination of these 4 above variables resulted in acceptable performance (area under curve: 0.716). The above 4 variables were used in the CART model to evaluate URVA propensity. Conclusions: Elder patients with abdominal pain who needed laboratory workup, had Level 1–2 triage scores, and received ≥ 2 doses of analgesics during their index visits to the ED had higher risk of URVAs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number288
JournalEuropean Journal of Medical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Abdominal pain
  • Emergency department
  • Return visit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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