Pediatric emergency department outreach: Solving medical problems or revealing community solutions?

Julius G. Goepp, Nancy P. Chin, John Massad, Lori A. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Low-acuity (LA) use of emergency departments (EDs) is often viewed as misuse or abuse. We designed a program to help users access services more efficiently. Community health workers (CHWs) functioned as health educators, screeners, and liaisons to care. A participatory curriculum emphasized medical problems. Qualitative ethnographic methods were used for formative evaluation. Ninety families received regular visits from CHWs. Original system-oriented objectives and methods did not fit community needs. Instead, information was gathered regarding service utilization patterns: (1) families mistrusted primary and preventive care, reporting frequent discrimination and humiliation; (2) a primarily biomedical prioritization did not match families' need hierarchies; (3) complex demands of poverty made other uses of the system challenging; (4) primary care services were frequently avoided; and (5) the ED was often preferred. Intangible psychosocial factors and practical complexities of poverty were powerful promoters of LA visits. Families were creative strategists, viewing LA visits as rational use, not misuse, of a challenging system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-529
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Volume15
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2004

Fingerprint

Hospital Emergency Service
Pediatrics
Poverty
community
Primary Health Care
health
poverty
Health Educators
worker
Preventive Medicine
psychosocial factors
Curriculum
qualitative method
discrimination
abuse
utilization
educator
Psychology
curriculum
evaluation

Keywords

  • Access to care
  • Barriers to care
  • Discrimination
  • Emergency department
  • Health decision making
  • Mistrust
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Pediatric emergency department outreach : Solving medical problems or revealing community solutions? / Goepp, Julius G.; Chin, Nancy P.; Massad, John; Edwards, Lori A.

In: Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, Vol. 15, No. 4, 11.2004, p. 522-529.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Goepp, Julius G. ; Chin, Nancy P. ; Massad, John ; Edwards, Lori A. / Pediatric emergency department outreach : Solving medical problems or revealing community solutions?. In: Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 2004 ; Vol. 15, No. 4. pp. 522-529.
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