The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3320.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 3

Abstract #70405

Content analysis investigation of users’ experience of an automated telephone screening for problem drinking

Ramesh Farzanfar, PhD1, Jeffrey Migneault, PhD1, Amy Rubin, PhD2, Robert Friedman, MD1, and Lisa Marks, BS1. (1) Medical Information Systems Unit, Boston University Medical Center, 560 Harrison Avenue, Suite 405, Boston, MA 02118, 617-638-7519,, (2) Addiction Services, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, 16 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114

Computer-based interviewing may be particularly applicable in the assessment of risky health behaviors. Some studies have shown that people prefer computers to human interviews due to perceived confidentiality and lack of social judgment.1,2,3 It is unknown whether computer-controlled telephone assessments of risky health behaviors are perceived by people as being similar to human interviews in terms of confidentiality and lack of social judgment. To address this question, we analyzed participants’ responses (N=100) to 5 open-ended questions administered after they were screened for problem drinking behavior. The questions explored participants’ reactions to the two screening interviews. The alcohol screening was conducted by both a computer and a human interviewer (in random order) each utilizing AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test), i.e., identical questionnaires. Only 9% of the subjects mentioned a concern about confidentiality. Among the 22% who preferred the computer interview, confidentiality was cited by 32% (N=7) whereas among the 62% who preferred the human interviewer, confidentiality was mentioned only by 2 (2%). Although both the computer and human interviews asked the same questions, 27% of the subjects felt that the human asked more appropriate questions whereas only 3% of subjects thought that the computer did so. Only 4% of the subjects mentioned a concern about the interview being non(judgmental). Our results are at variance to those previously reported and raise the question that the individuals’ preference for an automated interview versus a live one is a complex issue.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alcohol, Computer-Assisted

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Evidence and Action: Alcohol Policy Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA