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Table 1 Comparison of patient groups with non-specific complaints (NSC) (n = 165) or specific complaints (SC) (n = 546)

From: Non-specific complaints at emergency department presentation result in unclear diagnoses and lengthened hospitalization: a prospective observational study

Variable NSC (n = 165) SC (n = 546) p-value
Patient characteristics
 Age in years; median (IQR) 71.0 (23.0) 69.0 (27) 0.347
 Female gender; n (%) 79 (47.9%) 243 (44.5%) 0.476
Encounter characteristics
 Resuscitation bay; n (%) 14 (8.5%) 64 (11.8%) 0.259
Triage category; n (%)
  1 (acute situation, immediate care) 10 (6.1%) 32 (5.9%) 0.282
  2 (urgent situation, care within 20 min) 58 (35.2%) 241 (44.1%)
  3 (semi-urgent situation, care within 120 min) 89 (53.9%) 255 (46.7%)
  4 (non-urgent situation) 4 (4.2%) 14 (2.6%)
  5 (scheduled visit) 1 (0.6%) 4 (0.7%)
 Previous medical contact; n (%) 162 (67.3%) 289 (52.9%) < 0.001
ED outcome
 ED stay in hours; median (IQR)a 6.27 (3.11) 6.09 (3.26) 0.497°
 Vague diagnosis at ED discharge; n (%) 50 (30.3%) 126 (23.1%) 0.039°
Patient outcome
 Hospital stay in days; median (IQR) b 6.51 (5.85) 5.22 (5.83) 0.005°
 Vague diagnosis at hospital discharge; n (%) 15 (9.1%) 51 (9.3%) 0.531°
 Mortality; n (%) 12 (7.3%) 20 (3.7%) 0.045°
  1. ED emergency department, NSC non-specific complaints, SC specific complaint,
  2. °one-sided test according to a priori hypotheses
  3. acalculated in minutes and converted to hours
  4. bcalculated in hours and converted to days