Acute care surgery: trauma, critical care, emergency general surgery … and preventative health?

Greg Hambright, Vaidehi Agrawal, Phillip L. Sladek, Suzanne M. Slonim, Michael S. Truitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Acute care surgeons (ACS) often care for patients with limited access to health care. They may not participate in preventative screenings and interventions (PSIs) such as mammography, colonoscopy, or pneumococcal vaccinations (VAs). We sought to identify barriers to compliance and determine if ACS have an opportunity to facilitate PSI participation. Methods All patients evaluated by an ACS were considered for inclusion in the study. Patients meeting national PSI inclusion criteria were enrolled. Surveys were administered to assess compliance and identify barriers to participation. Results The overall compliance rate with PSIs was 57%. Patients without a primary care physician had a compliance rate of 23%. The most common barrier to participation was lack of knowledge of PSI recommendations (42%). Males were less compliant than females (47% vs 62%). Conclusions ACS evaluate a large number of general surgery and trauma patients. The acute care surgeon–patient encounter represents a valuable opportunity for education and improved PSI compliance. Additional research should focus on developing interventional strategies and evaluating their impact on patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-806
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute care surgery
  • Colonoscopy
  • Mammography
  • Pneumococcal vaccinations
  • Public health screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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