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Development of practice recommendations based on the Canadian Syncope Risk Score and identification of barriers and facilitators for implementation

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Abstract

Background

Wide variations in emergency department (ED) syncope management exist. The Canadian Syncope Risk Score (CSRS) was developed to predict the probability of 30-day serious outcomes after ED disposition. Study objectives were to evaluate the acceptability of proposed CSRS practice recommendations among providers and patients, and identify barriers and facilitators for CSRS use to guide disposition decisions.

Methods

We conducted semi-structured interviews with 41 physicians involved in ED syncope and 35 ED patients with syncope. We used purposive sampling to ensure a variety of physician specialties and CSRS patient risk levels. Thematic analysis was completed by two independent coders with consensus meetings to resolve conflicts. Analysis proceeded in parallel with interviews until data saturation.

Results

The majority (97.6%; 40/41) of physicians agreed with discharge of low risk (CSRS ≤ 0) but opined that ‘no follow up’ changed to ‘follow-up as needed’. Physicians indicated current practices do not align with the medium-risk recommendation to discharge patients with 15-day monitoring (CSRS = 1–3; due to lack of access to monitors and timely follow-up) and the high-risk recommendation (CSRS ≥ 4) to potentially discharge patients with 15-day monitoring. Physicians recommended brief hospitalization of high-risk patients due to patient safety concerns. Facilitators included the CSRS-based patient education and scores supporting their clinical gestalt. Patients reported receiving varying levels of information regarding syncope and post-ED care, were satisfied with care received and preferred less resource intensive options.

Conclusion

Our recommendations based on the study results were: discharge of low-risk patients with physician follow-up as needed; discharge of medium-risk patients with 15-day cardiac monitoring and brief hospitalization of high-risk patients with 15-day cardiac monitoring if discharged. Patients preferred less resource intensive options, in line with CSRS recommended care. Implementation should leverage identified facilitators (e.g., patient education) and address the barriers (e.g., monitor access) to improve ED syncope care.

Résumé

Contexte

La prise en charge des syncopes par les services d'urgence varie considérablement. Le Canadian Syncope Risk Score (CSRS) a été mis au point pour prédire la probabilité d'une issue grave à 30 jours après la prise en charge par le service des urgences. Les objectifs de l'étude étaient d'évaluer l'acceptabilité des recommandations pratiques proposées par le CSRS parmi les prestataires et les patients, et d'identifier les barrières et les facilitateurs de l'utilisation du CSRS pour guider les décisions de disposition.

Méthodes

Nous avons mené des entretiens semi-structurés avec 41 médecins impliqués dans la syncope aux urgences et 35 patients souffrant de syncope aux urgences. Nous avons utilisé un échantillonnage raisonné pour assurer une variété de spécialités médicales et de niveaux de risque pour les patients du CSRS. L'analyse thématique a été réalisée par deux codeurs indépendants, avec des réunions de consensus pour résoudre les conflits. L'analyse s'est déroulée parallèlement aux entretiens jusqu'à saturation des données.

Résultats

La majorité (97,6 % ; 40/41) des médecins étaient d'accord avec la sortie des patients à faible risque (CSRS ≤ 0), mais ont estimé que " pas de suivi " devait être remplacée par " suivi en fonction des besoins ". Les médecins ont indiqué que leurs pratiques actuelles ne sont pas conformes à la recommandation à risque moyen de faire sortir les patients avec une surveillance de 15 jours (CSRS = 1-3 ; en raison du manque d'accès aux moniteurs et au suivi en temps opportun) et à la recommandation à risque élevé (CSRS ≥ 4) de potentiellement faire sortir les patients avec une surveillance de 15 jours. Les médecins ont recommandé une brève hospitalisation des patients à haut risque pour des raisons de sécurité. Les facilitateurs comprenaient l'éducation des patients basée sur le CSRS et les scores soutenant leur gestalt clinique. Les patients ont déclaré avoir reçu différents niveaux d'information concernant la syncope et les soins post-urgence, étaient satisfaits des soins reçus et préféraient des options moins gourmandes en ressources.

Conclusions

Nos recommandations basées sur les résultats de l'étude sont les suivantes : sortie des patients à faible risque avec suivi par un médecin si nécessaire ; la sortie des patients à risque moyen avec une surveillance cardiaque de 15 jours et une brève hospitalisation des patients à risque élevé avec une surveillance cardiaque de 15 jours en cas de sortie. Les patients ont préféré des options moins gourmandes en ressources, conformément aux soins recommandés par le CSRS. La mise en œuvre devrait s'appuyer sur les facilitateurs identifiés (par exemple, l'éducation des patients) et s'attaquer aux obstacles (par exemple, le contrôle de l'accès) pour améliorer les soins aux urgences en cas de syncope.

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Data availability

The data generated and used during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon request.

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Funding

This study was supported by The Ottawa Hospital Academic Medical Organization (TOHAMO), TOH21-024, Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy,Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada,IMPL-002, Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy.

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Correspondence to Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy.

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Conflict of interest

Dr. Rowe is the Scientific Director of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH) at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The organization was not involved in any aspect of the conduct, analysis, and manuscript preparation of this study; CIHR takes no responsibility for the findings reported in this research. All other authors state no conflict of interest.

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Hudek, N., Brehaut, J.C., Rowe, B.H. et al. Development of practice recommendations based on the Canadian Syncope Risk Score and identification of barriers and facilitators for implementation. Can J Emerg Med 25, 434–444 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43678-023-00498-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s43678-023-00498-y

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