Research

Computer-Assisted Screening and Intervention for Alcohol Problems in Primary Care:  
The effectiveness of a bilingual (English/Spanish) computer-assisted alcohol screening/intervention for hazardous and harmful alcohol use, the Health Habits Survey (HHS) was tested in primary care settings. Assessment-only patients were compared with patients exposed to the HHS. Of the 2053 recruited, 151 (7.4%) screened positive on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and were re-contacted six months later for follow-up. Significant alcohol reduction was observed in both conditions. No between-group differences were observed. Computer-assisted screening and intervention are feasible in primary care settings and may be a realistic provider-extender when traditional screening is absent or inconsistently implemented. (1)

Computer-Assisted Alcohol and Other Drug Screening of Trauma Patients: Results of a Pilot Study:
Screening for alcohol and other drugs (AOD) in trauma centers and emergency departments is recommended for early identification and appropriate referral and treatment of AOD abusers. This paper documents the development and pilot testing of a computerized screening instrument for trauma patients, using Adobe Professional 7.0 and Microsoft PowerPoint. The automated screener incorporates questions from NIAAA Alcohol Use Recommendations, CAGE, AUDIT, DAST-10, Skinner Trauma Scale, Readiness to Change Scale, Attribution of Injury and Perception of Pain and Level of Stress indexes, to screen for AOD abuse and dependence. The screener was delivered anonymously to a sample of 57 WVU adult trauma patients on a Motion touch screen tablet computer over a period of 11 days. The acceptability of computerized screening was high, with the vast majority of patients assessing the experience as positive and being willing to repeat it in future. Patients found the tablet screening easy, and the instrument just the right length. Only 6% preferred pencil and paper, and 26% face-to-face versions, while 16% offered suggestions for improvement.   In multivariate analysis of the pilot data, screening positive for AOD abuse or dependence, AUDIT score = 8+ or DAST score = 2+).   A positive score was predicted by higher perceived stress/pain levels and attribution of responsibility for the injury to own AOD use, (attribution) (OR = 5.6 and 19.3, respectively), while high readiness to change was predicted by being uninsured and higher likelihood of attribution (OR = 5.8 and 29.7, respectively). (2)

Computer-Assisted Screening for Intimate Partner Violence in Primary Care:  
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious public health problem with adverse physical and mental health consequences, particularly for women.   However, abused women seldom spontaneously disclose to healthcare providers who frequently fail to detect victims of abuse.   There is a strong need for effective and routine IPV screening programs.   Computer-assisted IPV screening may offer a feasible and effective way of detecting victims of abuse.   The research team examines the effectiveness and feasibility of computer-assisted IPV screening within the Canadian family practice context, using a randomized controlled trial and qualitative interviews.   Computer-assisted screening is potentially a cost effective method to obtain sensitive risk information without depending on healthcare providers' time.   The results of this research are anticipated to lead to development of a low-cost and time-efficient routine screening strategy for IPV and improved clinical care for vulnerable women.   Certainly, early detection of IPV is a vital step towards its prevention and harm reduction at the population level.   Moreover, this technology can be used to screen for other sensitive health risks in a variety of clinical settings.   Ultimately, this simple computer-assisted screening may improve the healthcare of several vulnerable sub-populations. (3)


  1. Stephen F. Butler PhD, Senior Vice President and Chief Science Officer of Inflexxion, Journal of Technology in Human Services, V. 21, Issue 3, Pub Date:   6/21/06
  2. Sandra L. Putnam, PhD , WVU Injury Control Research Center, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, "Screening and Detection; Access and Outcomes, APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing, 4175.0:   November 6, 2007 - Board 4
  3. Farah, Amad Ph.D. "Computer-Assisted Screening for Intimate Partner Violence in Primary Care," HCTP seminar, a CIHR Initiative.   3/15/06, http://www.hctp.utoronto.ca/EventsSeminarResults.asp?pRid=24

 




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