Novel 'flash mob' study for acute coronary syndrome puts clinical decision rules to the test

A novel "flash mob" study finds that, in emergency care, acute coronary syndrome cannot be safely ruled out using the Marburg Heart Score or the family physicians' clinical assessment.

In a period of only two weeks, researchers at Maastricht University collected data on 258 ACS-suspected patients by mobilizing one in five family physicians throughout the Netherlands to participate in the study. This mobilization was done by enlisting ambassadors among the FP community in the Netherlands who then spread the word through traditional professional and social networks.

The study found that among 243 patients receiving a final diagnosis, 45 (18.5%) were diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome. Sensitivity for the FP rating was 86.7% and sensitivity for the MHS was 94.4%. While large, prospective studies can be time consuming and costly, this innovative "flash mob" method of research, named after the large-scale public collaborations/gatherings driven by social media, allowed for the fast investigation of one simple question on a large scale in a short timeframe.

Journal reference:

Schols, A.M.R. et al. (2019) A Nationwide Flash-Mob Study for Suspected Acute Coronary Syndrome. Annals of Family Medicine.


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