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scientific articles

Integration of neuropsychology services in a sickle cell clinic and subsequent healthcare use for pain crises

key information

source: The Clinical neuropsychologist

year: 2018

authors: Janecek JK, Dorociak KE, Piper LE, Kelleher T, Pliskin NH, Gowhari M, Molokie RE


Growing literature has documented the clinical utility of neuropsychological evaluations for predicting functional outcomes, including reduced healthcare service utilization, in a variety of clinical samples. The present study investigates the relationship between the integration of clinical neuropsychology services into an existing outpatient sickle cell clinic and frequency of emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations for pain crises.

Participants included 144 adults diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD) who either underwent neuropsychological evaluation (NP+), including interview, neuropsychological testing, and feedback, or treatment as usual (NP-). Medical records were reviewed for a two-year period, one year prior to study enrollment (pre-assessment) and one year post-study enrollment (post-assessment), to track the number of ED visits and hospitalizations related to sickle cell pain crises.

When examining pain crises ED visits prior to and following neuropsychological evaluation, there was a significant decrease in ED visits for the NP + group, but no change for the NP - group. No significant changes in pain crises hospitalizations were observed for the NP + and NP - groups. For the NP + group, the decreased incidence of pain crises ED visits and hospitalizations was associated with an estimated total cost savings of $994,821.

Results highlight that integration of neuropsychology services into an existing outpatient sickle cell clinic may reduce healthcare costs, particularly use of pain crises ED services, for adults with SCD.

organization: Waukesha Memorial Hospital, USA; University of Illinois at Chicago, USA; University of Iowa, USA; Midwestern University, USA; Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, USA

DOI: 10.1080/13854046.2018.1535664

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