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RIH study: Emergency patients prefer technology-based interventions for behavioral issues
Date:7/16/2012

PROVIDENCE, R.I. A Rhode Island Hospital researcher has found that emergency department patients prefer technology-based interventions for high-risk behaviors such as alcohol use, unsafe sex and violence. ER patients said they would choose technology (ie text messaging, email, or Internet) over traditional intervention methods such as in-person or brochure-based behavioral interventions. The paper by Megan L. Ranney, M.D., is available now online in advance of print in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

The study was a cross-sectional survey of urban emergency department patients ages 13 and older. Patients answered questions about what kinds of technology they already use, what concerns they have about technology-based interventions, and what format they would prefer to receive interventions on seven health topics: unintentional injury; peer violence; dating/intimate partner violence; mental health; tobacco use; alcohol/substance use; and risky sexual behaviors.

"Many of our ER patients report behaviors that put them at high risk for poor health, like cigarette smoking, alcohol use and being a victim of violence," said Ranney, the lead researcher on the study. "Although emergency medicine physicians care about these problems, we face many barriers to helping patients change risky behaviors. Some of these barriers include lack of time in a busy, Level I, urban emergency department; lack of training in providing effective behavioral interventions; and a lack of knowledge of appropriate follow-up resources in an emergency setting."

The study findings indicate that technology-based interventions are an attractive potential solution to these barriers as most ER patients regularly use multiple forms of technology, including cell phones and the Internet. It also shows that the patients surveyed are receptive to technology-based interventions for these problems.

Computer or cell phone-based interventions for ER patients off
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Contact: Ellen Slingsby
eslingsby@lifespan.org
401-444-6421
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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