Patients’ and health professionals’ perceptions of the LoDED (limit of detection and ECG discharge) strategy for low-risk chest pain management: a qualitative study

Lucy Beasant, Edward Carlton*, Gareth Williams, Jonathan Benger, Jenny C Ingram

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Background Rapid discharge strategies for patients with low-risk chest pain using high-sensitivity troponin assays have been extensively evaluated. The adherence to, and acceptability of such strategies, has largely been explored using quantitative data. The aims of this integrated qualitative study were to explore the acceptability of the limit of detection and ECG discharge strategy (LoDED) to patients and health professionals, and to refine a discharge information leaflet for patients with low-risk chest pain.

Methods Patients with low-risk chest pain who consented to a semi-structured interview were purposively sampled for maximum variation from four of the participating National Health Service sites between October 2018 and May 2019. Two focus groups with ED health professionals at two of the participating sites were completed in April and June 2019.

Results A discharge strategy based on a single undetectable hs-cTn test (LoDED) was acceptable to patients. They trusted the health professionals who were treating them and felt reassured by other tests, (ECG) alongside blood test(s), even when the clinical assessment did not provide a firm diagnosis. In contrast, health professionals had reservations about the LoDED strategy, including concern about identifying low-risk patients and a shortened patient observation period. Findings from 11 patient interviews and 2 staff focus groups (with 20 clinicians) centred around three overarching themes: acceptability of the LoDED strategy, perceptions of symptom severity and uncertainty, and patient discharge information.

Conclusion Rapid discharge for low-risk chest pain is acceptable to patients, but clinicians reported some reticence in implementing the LoDED strategy. Further work is required to optimise discharge discussions and information provision for patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdoi:10.1136/emermed-2020-209539
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages7
JournalEmergency Medicine Journal
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2020

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