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Changing epidemiology of assault victims in an emergency department participating in information sharing with police: a time series analysis
  1. Adrian A Boyle1,
  2. Michael S Martin2,
  3. Haroon Ahmed3,
  4. Katrina Snelling1,
  5. Jonathon Dean3,
  6. James Price1
  1. 1 Emergency Department, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2 School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 Clinical School, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adrian A Boyle, Emergency Department, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, England; adrian.boyle{at}


Introduction Violent injury places a large burden on the NHS. We had implemented information sharing in our ED in 2007 and aimed to see which patient groups were most affected by information sharing, as this would provide clues as to how this complex intervention works.

Methods Retrospective time series study of all the assault victims presenting for ED care between 2005 and 2014 at a single ED in England.

Results 10 328 patients presented during the study period. There was a 37% decrease in the number of patients presenting after assault, consistent with national trends. The proportions of people arriving by ambulance, and the proportion of men did not change during the study period. There were no important changes in the age of our assault patients in this study. Greater, disproportionate, decreases in rates of violence were seen in patients who presented at the weekend up (incidence rate ratio (IRR)=0.57, 95% CI 0.50 to 0.64) versus weekdays (IRR=0.72; 95% CI 0.62 to 0.83) There were also disproportionately greater decreases over the study period in patients who were discharged with no hospital follow-up (IRR=0.51, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.56) versus those leading to either an inpatient admission (IRR=1.05, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.31) or outpatient follow-up (IRR=1.23, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.64).

Conclusions The epidemiology of violent injury at our institution has changed over the last 10 years and is most marked in a reduction of visits at the weekend, and in those who leave without follow up.

  • violence, interpersonal
  • epidemiology
  • alcohol abuse

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  • Contributors AAB and KS conceived the study. AAB wrote the paper. MSM, AAB, JD and JP performed the statistical analysis. HA and JD performed the literature review.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The data can be accessed by any responsible researcher by contacting the lead author.

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published Online First. Figure 3 has been replaced with the correct image.

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