Results of a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded study illustrate why patient education can prove so critical to the success of public health initiatives. The study found that one-third of emergency department patients who initially refused to be screened for HIV subsequently agreed to the test after viewing a 16-minute video that explained the procedure and the importance of being tested.
Later interviews with some of the 53 individuals in the study who changed their mind about undergoing the test after watching the video revealed that many had not realized such a test could be performed without a blood draw, with results available within about 20 minutes.
Results of the study, which was conducted in a high-volume urban emergency setting, were published in the July issue of the journal AIDS and Behavior.
A NIDA media release stated, “Because emergency departments often serve populations that have little or no other access to care, HIV testing at these sites can be critical in promoting earlier diagnosis to guide patients to treatment and to reduce continued transmission.”