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  1. Byon, Ha Do PhD, MPH, MS, RN
  2. Ahn, Soojung MSN, RN
  3. Yan, Guofen PhD
  4. Crandall, Mary PhD, RN
  5. LeBaron, Virginia PhD, APRN, FAANP


Substance use disorders (SUDs) and high incidence of infectious diseases are both critical public health issues. Among patients who use a venous access device (VAD) in home care settings, SUDs may play a role in increasing their risk of having a concurrent infectious disease. This study examined the association of SUD with infectious diseases among adult home healthcare patients with a VAD. We identified adult patients with an existing VAD who were admitted to a home healthcare agency August 1, 2017-July 31, 2018 from the electronic health records of a large Medicare-certified agency. Four serious infectious diseases (endocarditis, epidural abscess, septic arthritis, and osteomyelitis) and SUD related to injectable drugs were identified using relevant ICD-10 codes. Multiple logistic regression was performed to examine the association. Of 416 patients with a VAD, 12% (n = 50) had at least one diagnosis of a serious infectious disease. The percentage of patients who had a serious infectious disease was 40% among those with SUDs, compared with only 11% among those without SUDs. After adjusting for age and sex, the odds of having a serious infectious disease was 3.52 times greater for those with SUDs compared with those without (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 4.52 [1.48-13.79], n = .008). Our findings suggest that home healthcare patients with a VAD and a documented SUD diagnosis may have an increased risk of having a concurrent serious infectious disease. Therefore, patients with an SUD and a VAD would need more attention from home healthcare providers to prevent a serious infectious disease. Further research is suggested on modalities of care for individuals with an SUD and VAD to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases so that care can be delivered safely and efficiently in a home healthcare setting.