Lawrence 2021


Year: 2021

Title: Emergency Department Evaluation of Abdominal Pain in Female Adolescents

Country: United States

Age: Pediatric Only

Sex: Female

Population: Black

Care Setting: Emergency Department

Clinical Setting: General Diagnostic Imaging

Data Level: Single Institution

Data Type: EHR

Data Source: Local data

Conclusion: Disparities In All Minority Groups

Health OutComes Reported: No

Mitigation: No

Free Text Conclusion: Black patients were less likely to undergo imaging.

Abstract: STUDY OBJECTIVE: Evaluation of acute abdominal pain in an adolescent female patient should include consideration of all potential sources of pain, including gynecologic etiologies. The goal of our study was to determine the frequency of evaluation of gynecologic causes of abdominal pain in adolescent girls seen in a pediatric emergency department. STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective review was performed of girls between 12 and 21 years of age presenting to the emergency department or urgent care centers at a single pediatric institution with the chief complaint of abdominal pain during 2016. Frequency analyses of demographic and clinical characteristics are presented. RESULTS: A total of 1082 girls presented with a chief complaint of abdominal pain. Menarche was documented in 85% of patients, sexual history in 52% of patients, and assessment of contraception use in 28%. Pregnancy testing was performed in 77%. Sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing was performed in 31%, and in only 73% of patients who reported being sexually active. Imaging was performed in 52%. In the subgroup of patients who reported being sexually active and presented with abdominal pain and vaginal discharge, only 37% had a pelvic examination performed. In multivariable modeling, Black patients were significantly more likely than White patients to have STI testing performed (adjusted risk ratio [aRR]=1.39; confidence interval [CI]=1.13-1.70) and to undergo a pelvic examination (aRR=2.45; CI=1.34-4.50), and less likely to undergo imaging (aRR=0.69; CI=0.59-0.81). CONCLUSION: The assessment of abdominal pain in adolescent girls should include gynecologic etiologies. Our results raise concerns that there are deficiencies in the evaluation of gynecologic sources of abdominal pain in girls treated at pediatric facilities, and evidence of potential racial disparities.