A retrospective analysis of patients referred for tuberculosis testing at Parkland Hospital, Dallas, TX
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease of great public health importance, particularly to institutions that provide health care to large numbers of TB patients such as Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX. The purpose of this retrospective chart review was to analyze differences in TB positive and TB negative patients to better understand whether or not there were variables that could be utilized to develop a predictive model for use in the emergency department to reduce the overall number of suspected TB patients being sent to respiratory isolation for TB testing. This study included patients who presented to the Parkland Hospital emergency department between November 2006 and December 2007 and were isolated and tested for TB. Outcome of TB was defined as a positive sputum AFB test or a positive M. tuberculosis culture result. Data were collected utilizing the UT Southwestern Medical Center computerized database OACIS and included demographic information, TB risk factors, physical symptoms, and clinical results. Only two variables were significantly (P<0.05) related to TB outcome: dyspnea (shortness of breath) (P<0.001) and abnormal x-ray (P<0.001). Marginally significant variables included hemoptysis (P=0.06), weight loss (P=0.11), night sweats (P=0.20), history of homelessness or incarceration (P=0.15), and history of positive skin PPD (P=0.19). Using a combination of significant and marginally significant variables, a predictive model was designed which demonstrated a specificity of 24% and a sensitivity of 70%. In conclusion, a predictive model for TB outcome based on patients who presented to the Parkland Hospital emergency department between November 2006 and December 2007 was unsuccessful given the limited number of variables that differed significantly between TB positive and TB negative patients. It is suggested that a future prospective cohort study should be implemented to collect data on TB positive and TB negative patients. It may be possible that a more thorough prospective collection of data may lead to clearer comparisons between TB positive and TB negative patients and ultimately to the design of a more sensitive predictive model for TB outcome.
Health sciences|Public health|Epidemiology
O'Rourke, Christine, "A retrospective analysis of patients referred for tuberculosis testing at Parkland Hospital, Dallas, TX" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1467442.