General Medicine
Online ISSN : 1883-6011
Print ISSN : 1346-0072
ISSN-L : 1346-0072
Original Article
Questions Predicting Severe Disease in Patients with Abdominal Pain at a General Outpatient Department
Ken KimuraMasatomi IkusakaYoshiyuki OhiraTomoko TsukamotoKazutaka NodaToshihiko TakadaMasahito MiyaharaAyako BasugiKaori Sakatsume
Author information

2012 Volume 13 Issue 1 Pages 11-18


Background: Taking a good history is important for the diagnosis of abdominal pain. We investigated questionnaire items that were significantly correlated with causes of abdominal pain requiring hospitalization. We also studied the combination of responses that could exclude severe disease.
Method: Between February 2006 and December 2007, 296 of 317 patients with abdominal pain who attended our Outpatient Department completed a questionnaire for their abdominal pain. They included 32 patients requiring hospitalization (severe group) and 264 other patients (mild group). The percentage of positive responses to each questionnaire item was compared between the two groups, and those showing a significant difference were employed for logistic regression analysis.
Results: The following 4 responses were selected: “It is less than 7 days since the onset of pain” (odds ratio [OR], 2.8; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.2-6.4); “The pain is exacerbated by walking” (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.3-6.2); “The pain is accompanied by weight loss” (OR, 3.8; 95% CI, 1.5-9.8); and “The pain wakes me at night” (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.1-5.2). If a patient had none of these responses, the predictive value was 0.03 for severe disease.
Conclusions: Our findings suggested that pain reported within 7 days, exacerbation by walking, nocturnal awakening, and associated weight loss are features of abdominal pain that predict severe disease. Conversely, severe disease can be almost completely excluded in patients negative for all 4 features.

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© 2012 Japan Primary Care Association
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