Understanding why emergency department patients decline routine HIV testing
Methods: 160 patients who declined HIV testing in a high volume, urban ED were recruited in Summer 2012 and shown a brief (less than 16 minute) computer-based video intervention designed to increase HIV test rates. A subset of participants (n=40) were interviewed afterward about their experience with the intervention, their reasons for initially declining a test, and their thoughts about why others decline.
Results: One third of participants accepted a test following the intervention. In interviews, many participants said others did not test because they feared positive test results and stigma. However, when asked why they declined a test themselves, many participants reported feeling they were low risk and thus did not need to test. Conclusion: The study indicates brief interventions can increase HIV test rates among reluctant patients in high volume clinical settings. Qualitative findings suggest future technology-based interventions may be made more effective by addressing participants' fear, HIV-related stigma, and perceived low self-risk. Studies can employ similar qualitative approaches to refine interventions for greater effectiveness with specific populations.
Learning Areas:Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences
Assess why emergency department patients do accept HIV tests when offered.
Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Technology
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal of a federally funded grant focusing on the use of computer-based interventions to increase HIV testing among emergency department patients. Among my scientific interests has been the development of interventions and strategies to increase test rates among underserved and health disparity populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.