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  1. Crego, Nancy PhD, RN, CCRN
  2. Masese, Rita MD, MSc
  3. Bonnabeau, Emily BA
  4. Douglas, Christian DrPH
  5. Rains, Gary BA
  6. Shah, Nirmish MD
  7. Tanabe, Paula PhD, MSN, MPH, RN, FAEN, FAAN


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a common genetic blood disorder predominantly affecting African Americans in the United States. The objective of this study was to use a multimethods approach to describe how patients with SCD in North Carolina perceive the care they receive in emergency departments (EDs). Fourteen participants completed an interview (n = 10) or 2 focus groups (n = 2 per focus group) and 51 completed surveys. Sixty percent of participants with pain attack "very much" or "quite a bit" avoided going to the ED for care because of prior bad experiences and 50% of participants reported waiting 120 minutes or more in the ED for treatment of their sickle cell pain. Participants reported that stigma associated with provider perception of drug-seeking behavior is a persistent problem in the ED. Participant recommendations warrant further investigation to address persistent SCD quality-of-care concerns in the ED.