Costs and effects of interventions targeting frequent presenters to the emergency department: a systematic and narrative review

From BMC Emergency Medicine:

Background

Previous systematic reviews have examined the effectiveness of interventions for frequent presenters to the Emergency Department (ED) but not the costs and cost-effectiveness of such interventions.

Method

A systematic literature review was conducted which screened the following databases: Pubmed, Medline, Embase, Cochrane and Econlit. An inclusion and exclusion criteria were developed following PRISMA guidelines. A narrative review methodology was adopted due to the heterogeneity of the reporting of the costs across the studies.

Results

One thousand three hundred eighty-nine papers were found and 16 were included in the review. All of the interventions were variations of a case management approach. Apart from one study which had mixed results, all of the papers reported a decrease in ED use and costs. There were no cost effectiveness studies.

Conclusion

The majority of interventions for frequent presenters to the ED were found to decrease ED use and cost. Future research should be undertaken to examine the cost effectiveness of these interventions.