The Impact of Discharge Against Medical Advice on Readmission After Opioid Use Disorder-Associated Infective Endocarditis: a National Cohort Study.

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Hospitalizations for infective endocarditis (IE) associated with opioid use disorder (O-IE) have increased in the USA and have been linked to high rates of discharge against medical advice (DAMA). DAMA represents a truncation of care for a severe infection, yet patient outcomes after DAMA are unknown.


This study aimed to assess readmissions following O-IE and quantify the impact of DAMA on outcomes.


A retrospective study of a nationally representative dataset of persons' inpatient discharges in the USA in 2016 PARTICIPANTS: A total of 6018 weighted persons were discharged for O-IE, stratified by DAMA vs. other discharge statuses. Of these, 1331 (22%) were DAMA.

Main measures

The primary outcome of interest was 30-day readmission rates, stratified by discharge type. We also examined the total number of hospitalizations during the year and estimated the effect of DAMA on readmission.

Key results

Compared with non-DAMA, those experiencing DAMA were more commonly female, resided in metropolitan areas, lower income, and uninsured. Crude 30-day readmission following DAMA was 50%, compared with 21% for other discharge types. DAMA was strongly associated with readmission in an adjusted logistic regression model (OR 3.72, CI 3.02-4.60). Persons experiencing DAMA more commonly had ≥2 more hospitalizations during the period (31% vs. 18%, p<0.01), and were less frequently readmitted at the same hospital (49% vs 64%, p<0.01).


DAMA occurs in nearly a quarter of patients hospitalized for O-IE and is strongly associated with short-term readmission. Interventions to address the root causes of premature discharges will enhance O-IE care, reduce hospitalizations and improve outcomes.





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Publication Info

Schranz, Asher J, Casey Tak, Li-Tzy Wu, Vivian H Chu, David A Wohl and David L Rosen (2023). The Impact of Discharge Against Medical Advice on Readmission After Opioid Use Disorder-Associated Infective Endocarditis: a National Cohort Study. Journal of general internal medicine, 38(7). pp. 1615–1622. 10.1007/s11606-022-07879-6 Retrieved from

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Li-Tzy Wu

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Education/Training: Pre- and post-doctoral training in mental health service research, psychiatric epidemiology (NIMH T32), and addiction epidemiology (NIDA T32) from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health (Maryland); Fellow of the NIH Summer Institute on the Design and Conduct of Randomized Clinical Trials.

Director: Duke Community Based Substance Use Disorder Research Program.

Research interests: COVID-19, Opioid misuse, Opioid overdose, Opioid use disorder, Opioid addiction prevention and treatment, Pain and addiction, Chronic diseases and substance use disorders, diabetes, pharmacy-based care models and services, medication treatment for opioid use disorder (MOUD), Drug overdose, Polysubstance use and disorders, cannabis, alcohol, tobacco, hallucinogens, stimulants, e-cigarette, SBIRT (substance use Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment), EHR-based research and intervention, data science, psychometric analysis (IRT), epidemiology of addictions and comorbidity, behavioral health care integration, health services research (mental health disorders, substance use disorders, chronic diseases), nosology, research design, HIV risk behavior. 

FUNDED Research projects (Principal Investigator [PI], Site PI, or Sub-award PI): 
R03: Substance use/dependence (PI).
R21: Treatment use for alcohol use disorders (PI).
R21: Inhalant use & disorders (PI).
R01: MDMA/hallucinogen use/disorders (PI).
R01: Prescription pain reliever (opioids) misuse and use disorders (PI).
R01: Substance use disorders in adolescents (PI).
R21: CTN Substance use diagnoses & treatment (PI).
R33: CTN Substance use diagnoses & treatment (PI).
R01: Evolution of Psychopathology in the Population (ECA Duke site PI).
R01: Substance use disorders and treatment use among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (PI).
UG1: SBIRT in Primary Care (NIDA, PI).
UG1: TAPS Tool, Substance use screening tool validation in primary care (NIDA, PI).
UG1: NIDA CTN Mid-Southern Node (Clinical Trials Network, PI).
UG1: EHR Data Element Study (NIDA, PI).
UG1: Buprenorphine Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration in the Management of Patients With Opioid Use Disorder (NIDA, PI).
PCORI: INSPIRE-Integrated Health Services to Reduce Opioid Use While Managing Chronic Pain (Site PI).
CDC R01: Evaluation of state-mandated acute and post-surgical pain-specific CDC opioid prescribing (Site PI).
Pilot: Measuring Opioid Use Disorders in Secondary Electronic Health Records Data (Carolinas Collaborative Grant: Duke PI).
R21: Developing a prevention model of alcohol use disorder for Pacific Islander young adults (Subaward PI, Investigator).
UG1: Subthreshold Opioid Use Disorder Prevention Trial (NIH HEAL Initiative) (NIDA supplement, CTN-0101, Investigator).
NIDA: A Pilot Study to Permit Opioid Treatment Program Physicians to Prescribe Methadone through Community Pharmacies for their Stable Methadone Patients (NIDA/FRI: Study PI).
UG1: Integrating pharmacy-based prevention and treatment of opioid and other substance use disorders: A survey of pharmacists and stakeholder (NIH HEAL Initiative, NIDA, PI).
UG1: NorthStar Node of the Clinical Trials Network (NIDA, Site PI).
R34: Intervention Development and Pilot Study to Reduce Untreated Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Opioid Use Disorders (Subaward PI, Investigator).
UG1: Optimal Policies to Improve Methadone Maintenance Adherence Longterm (OPTIMMAL Study) (NIDA, Site PI).
R01: Increasing access to opioid use disorder treatment by opening pharmacy-based medication units of opioid treatment programs (NIDA, PI)


Vivian Hou Chu

Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. Chu's clinical research is focused on staphylococci and endocarditis (IE).  She is the director of the International Collaboration on Endocarditis (ICE), a group of investigators from 78 sites in 32 countries worldwide that is dedicated to further the understanding of infective endocarditis.  The ICE database comprises > 5000 cases of endocarditis and is designed to answer questions that could not be answered from a single-center study. The current focus of this group is surgical-decision making in the treatment of endocarditis. Another major focus of Dr. Chu's research is on the relationship between oral hygiene and risk for developing infective endocarditis.

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