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"Help": The Hospital Emergency Unit Patient and His Presenting Picture
David George Satin
Vol. 11, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 1973), pp. 328-337
Published by: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3762493
Page Count: 10
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It is hypothesized that illness behavior in the general hospital emergency unit, no less than in other medical settings, is influenced by background factors and priorities of the applicants for care. Our intention is to assess the relative importance among these factors and to identify their effects on the applicant's presenting picture. A methodology for studying this setting is described. A wide range of applicant demographic, social, economic, agency-use, and recent life stress background data is reported. Presenting complaints are reported through the eyes of the applicant, and mental status is assessed. High-need, low-resource-availability, and high-institution-use groups are identified, and a high incidence of recent life stresses is discovered. Presenting pictures show a broad range of needs and the influence of non-illness factors. Analysis shows covert recent life stress as the major predictor of the presenting picture, with a background of special needs an additional factor. These findings are interpreted in the light of Crisis Theory. The need for careful attention to social-emotional background in the interests of good emergency medical care is highlighted.
Medical Care © 1973 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins