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Study protocol for a multisite randomized controlled trial of a peer navigator intervention for emergency department patients with nonfatal opioid overdose

Doran, Kelly M; Welch, Alice E; Jeffers, Angela; Kepler, Kelsey L; Chambless, Dominique; Cowan, Ethan; Wittman, Ian; Regina, Angela; Chang, Tingyee E; Parraga, Susan; Tapia, Jade; Diaz, Cesar; Gwadz, Marya; Cleland, Charles M; McNeely, Jennifer
BACKGROUND:Patients presenting to emergency departments (EDs) after a nonfatal opioid-involved overdose are at high risk for future overdose and death. Responding to this risk, the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene operates the Relay initiative, which dispatches trained peer "Wellness Advocates" to meet patients in the ED after a suspected opioid-involved overdose and follow them for up to 90 days to provide support, education, referrals to treatment, and other resources using a harm reduction framework. METHODS:In this article, we describe the protocol for a multisite randomized controlled trial of Relay. Study participants are recruited from four NYC EDs and are randomized to receive the Relay intervention or site-directed care (the control arm). Outcomes are assessed through survey questionnaires conducted at 1-, 3-, and 6-months after the baseline visit, as well as through administrative health data. The primary outcome is the number of opioid-related adverse events, including any opioid-involved overdose or any other substance use-related ED visit, in the 12 months post-baseline. Secondary and exploratory outcomes will also be analyzed, as well as hypothesized mediators and moderators of Relay program effectiveness. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:We present the protocol for a multisite randomized controlled trial of a peer-delivered OD prevention intervention in EDs. We describe how the study was designed to minimize disruption to routine ED operations, and how the study was implemented and adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic. This trial is registered with [NCT04317053].
PMID: 36746325
ISSN: 1559-2030
CID: 5420772

ED-Home: Pilot feasibility study of a targeted homelessness prevention intervention for emergency department patients with drug or unhealthy alcohol use

Fazio, Daniela; Zuiderveen, Sara; Guyet, Dana; Reid, Andrea; Lalane, Monique; McCormack, Ryan P; Wall, Stephen P; Shelley, Donna; Mijanovich, Tod; Shinn, Marybeth; Doran, Kelly M
BACKGROUND:Housing insecurity is prevalent among emergency department (ED) patients. Despite a surge of interest in screening for patients' social needs including housing insecurity, little research has examined ED social needs interventions. We worked together with government and community partners to develop and pilot test a homelessness prevention intervention targeted to ED patients with drug or unhealthy alcohol use. METHODS:We approached randomly sampled patients at an urban public hospital ED, May to August 2019. Adult patients were eligible if they were medically stable, not incarcerated, spoke English, had unhealthy alcohol or any drug use, and were not currently homeless but screened positive for risk of future homelessness using a previously developed risk screening tool. Participants received a three-part intervention: (1) brief counseling and referral to treatment for substance use delivered through a preexisting ED program; (2) referral to Homebase, an evidence-based community homelessness prevention program; and (3) up to three troubleshooting phone calls by study staff. Participants completed surveys at baseline and 6 months. RESULTS:Of 2183 patients screened, 51 were eligible and 40 (78.4%) participated; one later withdrew, leaving 39 participants. Participants were diverse in age, gender, race, and ethnicity. Of the 32 participants reached at 6 months, most said it was very or extremely helpful to talk to someone about their housing situation (n = 23, 71.9%) at the baseline ED visit. Thirteen (40.6%) said their housing situation had improved in the past 6 months and 16 (50.0%) said it had not changed. Twenty participants (62.5%) had made contact with a Homebase office. Participants shared ideas of how to improve the intervention. CONCLUSIONS:This pilot intervention was feasible and well received by participants though it required a large amount of screening to identify potentially eligible patients. Our findings will inform a larger future trial and may be informative for others seeking to develop similar interventions.
PMID: 36268815
ISSN: 1553-2712
CID: 5360592

An Unconditional Cash Transfer Program for Low-Income New Yorkers Affected by COVID-19

Kumar, Samantha Lily; Calvo-Friedman, Alessandra; Freeman, Amy L; Fazio, Daniela; Johnson, Amanda K; Seiferth, Fionnuala; Clapp, Jenifer; Davis, Nichola J; Schretzman, Maryanne; Springer, Bethany; Arcilla, Harmony N; Kaplan, Sue A; Berry, Carolyn A; Doran, Kelly M
Early in the pandemic, New York City's public hospital system partnered with multiple philanthropic foundations to offer an unconditional cash transfer program for low-income New Yorkers affected by COVID-19. The $1000 cash transfers were designed to help people meet their most immediate health and social needs and were incorporated into healthcare delivery and contact tracing workflows as a response to the public health emergency. To better understand program recipients' experiences, researchers conducted 150 telephone surveys with randomly sampled cash transfer recipients and 20 in-depth qualitative interviews with purposefully sampled survey participants. Survey participants were predominantly Latinx (87%) and women (65%). The most common reported uses of the $1000 were food and rent. Most participants (79%) reported that without the $1000 cash transfer they would have had difficulty paying for basic expenses or making ends meet, with specific positive effects reported related to food, housing, and ability to work. The majority of survey participants reported that receiving the cash assistance somewhat or greatly improved their physical health (83%) and mental health (89%). Qualitative interview results generally supported the survey findings.
PMID: 36224486
ISSN: 1468-2869
CID: 5341042

2021 SAEM Consensus Conference Proceedings: Research Priorities for Developing Emergency Department Screening Tools for Social Risks and Needs

Furbacher, Jacqueline; Fockele, Callan; Buono, Ben Del; Janneck, Laura; March, Cooper; Molina, Melanie; Duber, Herbet C; Doran, Kelly M; Lin, Michelle P; Cooper, Richelle J; Modi, Payal
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:The Emergency Department (ED) acts as a safety net for our healthcare system. While studies have shown increased prevalence of social risks and needs among ED patients, there are many outstanding questions about the validity and use of social risks and needs screening tools in the ED setting. METHODS:In this paper, we present research gaps and priorities pertaining to social risks and needs screening tools used in the ED, identified through a consensus approach informed by literature review and external expert feedback as part of the 2021 SAEM Consensus Conference -- From Bedside to Policy: Advancing Social Emergency Medicine and Population Health. RESULTS:Four overarching research gaps were identified: (1) Defining the purpose and ethical implications of ED-based screening; (2) Identifying domains of social risks and needs; (3) Developing and validating screening tools; and (4) Defining the patient population and type of screening performed. Furthermore, the following research questions were determined to be of highest priority: (1) What screening tools should be used to identify social risks and needs? (2) Should individual EDs use a national standard screening tools or customized screening tools? (3) What are the most prevalent social risks and needs in the ED? and (4) Which social risks and needs are most amenable to intervention in the ED setting? CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Answering these research questions will facilitate the use of evidence-based social risks and needs screening tools that address knowledge gaps and improve the health of our communities by better understanding the underlying determinants contributing to their presentation and health outcomes.
PMID: 36409957
ISSN: 1936-9018
CID: 5372012

Performance of 2 Single-Item Screening Questions to Identify Future Homelessness Among Emergency Department Patients

Byrne, Thomas; Hoang, Mindy; Montgomery, Ann Elizabeth; Johns, Eileen; Shinn, Marybeth; Mijanovich, Tod; Culhane, Dennis; Doran, Kelly M
Importance/UNASSIGNED:Despite increasing interest in assessing patient social needs in health care settings, there has been little research examining the performance of housing-related screening questions. Objective/UNASSIGNED:To examine the performance of 2 single-item screening questions assessing emergency department (ED) patients' self-perceived risk of future homelessness. Design, Setting, and Participants/UNASSIGNED:This prospective cohort study was conducted among a randomly selected sample of adult ED patients from 2016 to 2017 in a public hospital ED in New York City. Data were analyzed from September 2019 through October 2021. Exposures/UNASSIGNED:Responses on patient surveys conducted at the baseline ED visit for 2 single-item screening questions on self-perceived risk for future housing instability and homelessness were collected. One question asked patients if they were worried about having stable housing in the next 2 months, and the other question asked them to rate the likelihood that they would enter a homeless shelter in the next 6 months. Outcomes/UNASSIGNED:Homeless shelter entry 2, 6, and 12 months after an ED visit, assessed using shelter administrative data in the study city, which was linked with participant baseline survey responses. Results/UNASSIGNED:There were 1919 study participants (976 [51.0%] men and 931 [48.6%] women among 1915 individuals with gender data; 700 individuals aged 31-50 years [36.5%] among 1918 individuals with age data; 1126 Hispanic or Latinx individuals [59.0%], 368 non-Hispanic Black individuals [19.3%], and 225 non-Hispanic White individuals [11.8%] among 1908 individuals with race and ethnicity data). Within 2, 6, and 12 months of the ED visit, 45 patients (2.3%), 66 patients (3.4%), and 95 patients (5.0%) had entered shelter, respectively. For both single-item screening questions, participants who answered affirmatively had significantly higher likelihood of future shelter entry at each time point examined (eg, at 2 months: 31 participants responding yes [6.5%] vs 14 participants responding no [1.0%] to the question concerning being worried about having stable housing in the next 2 months). Sensitivity of the screening questions ranged from 0.27 to 0.69, specificity from 0.76 to 0.97, positive predictive value from 0.07 to 0.27, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve from 0.62 to 0.72. Conclusions and Relevance/UNASSIGNED:This study found that 2 single-item screening questions assessing ED patient self-perceived risk of future housing instability and homelessness had adequate to good performance in identifying risk for future shelter entry. Such single-item screening questions should be further tested before broad adoption.
PMID: 35969399
ISSN: 2574-3805
CID: 5299782

Patient Views on Emergency Department Screening and Interventions Related to Housing

Kelly, Audrey; Fazio, Daniela; Padgett, Deborah; Ran, Ziwei; Castelblanco, Donna G; Kumar, Diana; Doran, Kelly M
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:EDs serve as a healthcare "safety net" and may be uniquely suited to screening for and addressing patients' unmet social needs. We aimed to better understand patient perspectives on ED-based screening and interventions related to housing instability, as a step toward improving future efforts. METHODS:We present findings from a qualitative study using in-depth, one-on-one interviews with ED patients who had become homeless in the past six months. Qualitative interviewees were asked their thoughts on ED staff asking about and helping to address homelessness and housing issues. Interviews were professionally transcribed verbatim. Multiple coders identified interview text segments focused on ED-based housing screening and intervention, which were then independently analyzed thematically and discussed to reach consensus. Researchers also categorized each participant's overall opinion on ED housing screening and interventions as positive, neutral, or negative. RESULTS:Qualitative interviews were conducted with 31 patients. Four themes related to ED-based housing screening and interventions emerged: 1) patients generally welcome ED staff/providers asking about and assisting with their housing situation, with caveats around privacy and respect; 2) ED conversations about housing have potential benefits beyond addressing unmet housing needs; 3) patients may not consider the ED as a site to obtain help with housing; 4) patients' experiences navigating existing housing services can inform best approaches for the ED. Most participants expressed overall positive views of ED staff/providers asking patients about their housing situation. CONCLUSIONS:Study participants generally felt positively about screening and interventions for housing in the ED. Insights from this study can inform future ED-based housing instability screening and interventions.
PMID: 35064727
ISSN: 1553-2712
CID: 5132062

Development of a homelessness risk screening tool for emergency department patients

Doran, Kelly M; Johns, Eileen; Zuiderveen, Sara; Shinn, Marybeth; Dinan, Kinsey; Schretzman, Maryanne; Gelberg, Lillian; Culhane, Dennis; Shelley, Donna; Mijanovich, Tod
OBJECTIVE:To develop a screening tool to identify emergency department (ED) patients at risk of entering a homeless shelter, which could inform targeting of interventions to prevent future homelessness episodes. DATA SOURCES/METHODS:Linked data from (1) ED patient baseline questionnaires and (2) citywide administrative homeless shelter database. STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:Stakeholder-informed predictive modeling utilizing ED patient questionnaires linked with prospective shelter administrative data. The outcome was shelter entry documented in administrative data within 6 months following the baseline ED visit. Exposures were responses to questions on homelessness risk factors from baseline questionnaires. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS/METHODS:Research assistants completed questionnaires with randomly sampled ED patients who were medically stable, not in police/prison custody, and spoke English or Spanish. Questionnaires were linked to administrative data using deterministic and probabilistic matching. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS/RESULTS:Of 1993 ED patients who were not homeless at baseline, 5.6% entered a shelter in the next 6 months. A screening tool consisting of two measures of past shelter use and one of past criminal justice involvement had 83.0% sensitivity and 20.4% positive predictive value for future shelter entry. CONCLUSIONS:Our study demonstrates the potential of using cross-sector data to improve hospital initiatives to address patients' social needs.
PMID: 34608999
ISSN: 1475-6773
CID: 5067672

Mortality Among People Experiencing Homelessness in San Francisco During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cawley, Caroline; Kanzaria, Hemal K; Zevin, Barry; Doran, Kelly M; Kushel, Margot; Raven, Maria C
Importance:There has been recent media attention on the risk of excess mortality among homeless individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet data on these deaths are limited. Objectives:To quantify and describe deaths among people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco during the COVID-19 pandemic and to compare the characteristics of these deaths with those in prior years. Design, Setting, and Participants:A cross-sectional study tracking mortality among people experiencing homelessness from 2016 to 2021 in San Francisco, California. All deceased individuals who were homeless in San Francisco at the time of death and whose deaths were processed by the San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner were included. Data analysis was performed from August to October 2021. Exposure:Homelessness, based on homeless living status in an administrative database. Main Outcomes and Measures:Descriptive statistics were used to understand annual trends in demographic characteristics, cause and manner of death (based on autopsy), substances present in toxicology reports, geographic distribution of deaths, and use of health and social services prior to death. Total estimated numbers of people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco were assessed through semiannual point-in-time counts. The 2021 point-in-time count was postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Results:In San Francisco, there were 331 deaths among people experiencing homelessness in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic (from March 17, 2020, to March 16, 2021). This number was more than double any number in previous years (eg, 128 deaths in 2016, 128 deaths in 2017, 135 deaths in 2018, and 147 deaths in 2019). Most individuals who died were male (268 of 331 [81%]). Acute drug toxicity was the most common cause of death in each year, followed by traumatic injury. COVID-19 was not listed as the primary cause of any deaths. The proportion of deaths involving fentanyl increased each year (present in 52% of toxicology reports in 2019 and 68% during the pandemic). Fewer decedents had contacts with health services in the year prior to their death during the pandemic than in prior years (13% used substance use disorder services compared with 20% in 2019). Conclusions and Relevance:In this cross-sectional study, the number of deaths among people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco increased markedly during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings may guide future interventions to reduce mortality among individuals experiencing homelessness.
PMID: 35267030
ISSN: 2574-3805
CID: 5182312

Moving Upstream: A Social Emergency Medicine Approach to Opioid Use Disorder [Editorial]

Samuels, Elizabeth A; Doran, Kelly M
PMID: 34756453
ISSN: 1097-6760
CID: 5050472

Overdose and Homelessness - Why We Need to Talk about Housing [Note]

Doran, K M; Fockele, C E; Maguire, M
ISSN: 2574-3805
CID: 5134662