Teens may benefit from computer-based substance use screening tool

  • Knight JR & al.
  • JAMA Netw Open
  • 5 Jun 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • People aged 12-18 years with a history of substance use and who participated in a computer-facilitated system for youth substance use screening and brief intervention (CSBI) before visiting their pediatrician had a longer period between that visit and their next use of cannabis and were less likely to ride in a car with a substance-impaired driver.

Why this matters

  • Although the findings are preliminary, the researchers suggest that a computer-based tool may help pediatricians better screen patients for substance use.

Study design

  • Study of 871 patients with a history of substance use (age, 12-18 years) randomly assigned to CSBI (n=628) or usual care (n=243).
  • Funding: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; others.

Key results

  • 24.3% of the participants reported any use of alcohol or cannabis within 12 months (alcohol, 22.1%; cannabis, 12.2%).
  • Patients in the CSBI vs usual care group had significantly longer time to first postvisit cannabis use (aHR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.41-0.94).
  • No significant difference was observed in time to postvisit first alcohol use or heavy episodic drinking.
  • At 12 months, patients in the CSBI vs usual care group reported significant reduction in riding with an impaired driver (38.3% vs 68.4%; adjusted relative risk ratio, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37-0.91).

Limitations

  • Self-reported data.

Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD