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Enhancing ED Care for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Enhancing ED Care for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

According to current estimates, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) affects as many as 10% of adolescent girls in the United States. The disease can lead to long-term complications, such as infertility and chronic pelvic pain, for up to 40% of sufferers. “Adequate treatment and prevention of repeated episodes is critical, and the CDC recommends follow-up within 72 hours of diagnosis of PID,” says Margaret S. Wolff, MD. Follow-up should involve ensuring clinical improvement, reviewing safe sexual practices, and reinforcing the importance of partner treatment and medication compliance. Follow-up appointments are particularly important for adolescents who commonly receive the diagnosis of PID in EDs or urgent care centers. EDs are often impacted by time constraints, which can result in limited counseling when a PID diagnosis is made, according to Dr. Wolff. “Research suggests that follow-up rates are low and that the majority of adolescents receiving a diagnosis of PID are not receiving the recommended follow-up care,” she says. In published studies, several interventions have been used to improve post-ED follow-up for children and adolescents, including telephone reminders, mailed reminders, and having ED providers schedule outpatient appointments. These interventions, however, have had limited success. “Considering that text messaging is used by most adolescents and can be read privately, it is possible that this technology may effectively remind patients with PID about follow-up visits,” Dr. Wolff says. Other research has shown that text messaging can help promote behavior changes, improve medication compliance, and enhance self-management of some chronic diseases.   Taking a Closer Look For a study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Wolff and colleagues tested the effect of text message...
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