Send to

Choose Destination
Pediatr Emerg Care. 2019 Feb;35(2):108-111. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001723.

Provider Prediction of Disposition for Children With an Acute Exacerbation of Asthma Presenting to the Pediatric Emergency Department.

Author information

Department of Emergency Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN.
School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of the initial impression of emergency department providers on the disposition of children with asthma exacerbation.


We conducted a prospective survey of physicians and other providers in the emergency department of a children's hospital and parents of children presenting with asthma exacerbation. The treating provider completed a survey after finishing the examination and immediately upon exiting the patient's room. Providers predicted the disposition of the child. Additionally, the providers indicated the likelihood of admission using several 10-cm visual analog scales (VASs). Physician accuracy was calculated, and logistic regression models and receiver operator characteristic curves were generated.


Complete data were available for 177 subjects. Medical doctors/nurse practitioners made correct predictions in 129 (79.6%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 73.4-85.8) of 162 encounters. Respiratory therapists were correct in 69 (67.6%; 95% CI, 58.6%-76.7%) of 102 encounters, and parents were correct in 116 (67.4%; 95% CI, 60.4%-74.4%) of 172 encounters. Logistic regression with disposition as the dependent variable revealed that provider VAS for likelihood of admission (odds ratio, 23.717; 95% CI, 9.298-60.495) was associated with admission. A receiver operator characteristic curve generated for actual disposition versus "likelihood of admission" VAS had an area under the curve of 0.856 (95% CI, 0.793-0.919). For admission, a VAS of greater than 7 was 89.9% specific, greater than 7.6 was 92.9% specific, and greater than 8.6 was 96% specific.


Emergency department providers correctly predicted disposition 80% of the time. Providers were particularly likely to correctly predict admission. A VAS score of 7 or greater is nearly 90% specific for admission, with specificity increasing at higher values.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center