Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 34, Issue 12, pp 2693–2694 | Cite as

Improving Care for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease: a Qualitative Study of Hospitalized Sickle Cell Patients

  • Amira del Pino-JonesEmail author
  • Kasey Bowden
  • Gregory Misky
  • Christine D. Jones
Concise Research Reports


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a hereditary blood disorder that affects approximately 100,000 Americans.1 Acute pain episodes, or vaso-occlusive crises, account for approximately 70% of acute care visits for patients with SCD.1 Patients with SCD face unique obstacles to care, including difficulty communicating the severity of their pain and fear of being labeled as a “drug addict.”2 The combined annual cost of Emergency Department visits, Urgent Care visits, and hospitalizations for SCD has reached over $2.4 billion annually.3 In an effort to improve care for SCD patients who have required frequent readmission, we interviewed hospitalized SCD patients and asked for input on how our health system can better meet the needs of our SCD population.


Adult SCD patients admitted to the inpatient medicine services at the University of Colorado Hospital between March 2017 and May 2018 were identified and approached for consent. Interviews were conducted by a professional...


Funding Information

This project was funded through the University of Colorado Excellence in Patient Safety (CEPS) Program.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Centers For Disease Control Website:
  2. 2.
    Adegbola MA, Barnes DM, JG Opollo, et al. Voices of Adults Living With Sickle Cell Pain. J Natl Black Nurses Assoc. 2012; 23(2):16–23PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
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    Ezenwa MO, Molokie RE, Wang ZJ, et al. Outpatient Pain Predicts Subsequent One-Year Acute Health Care Utilization Among Adults With Sickle Cell Disease. J Pain Symptom Manag 2014; 48(1) 65–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Models of Care for High-Need, High-Cost Patients: An evidence synthesis. Website:

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amira del Pino-Jones
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kasey Bowden
    • 1
  • Gregory Misky
    • 1
  • Christine D. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical CampusAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Division of Hospital MedicineAuroraUSA

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