Sickle cell disease: healthcare professionals’ views of patients in the emergency department

Hannah Jerman*, Yan-Shing Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a commonly inherited blood disorder. There is a high prevalence of sickle cell disease globally. The majority of SCD patients will seek medical help across their lives, for the complications of their disease. The most common complication which requires hospital attendance, and often admission, is pain crisis. It is important for these patients to receive timely care, particularly analgesia, when attending hospitals for pain crisis. This is usually via A&E departments, which are increasingly under pressure. The quality of the care they receive can vary, possibly due to attitudes and views of healthcare professionals (HCPs), towards the patients.
To systematically review the attitudes and views of HCPs working in emergency departments, when caring for SCD patients in the emergency department.
After a literature search, CINAHL, Medline and BNI database searches were conducted. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were used to identify papers, for data extraction and analysis. Thematic synthesis were used to present data and identify themes within the papers.
Four papers were identified to fit the inclusion criteria. After data synthesis, three themes were identified. These include frustration of staff, the belief of drug seeking behaviour and feelings of unease of staff. These are all negative attitudes of staff towards SCD patients.
The literature review found that HCPs have some negative attitudes and views of Sickle Cell patients attending A&E departments. The outcomes of this help to inform future research, as the research in this area is limited, particularly in the UK. This could include further research into patient views of their care and exploring reasons behind the negative attitudes and views of HCPs. For clinical practice, the review has identified that SCD care needs improvement, as the negative attitudes and views are likely impacting care. Recommendations of the review include educational initiatives in departments, to reduce negative attitudes and views.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEmergency Nurse
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2023


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