Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Public Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Comparison of patient comprehension of rapid HIV pre-test fundamentals by information delivery format in an emergency department setting

Roland C Merchant123*, Erin M Gee1, Melissa A Clark2, Kenneth H Mayer24, George R Seage3 and Victor G DeGruttola5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

2 Department of Community Health, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

3 Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

4 Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

5 Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2007, 7:238  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-238

Published: 12 September 2007

Abstract

Background

Two trials were conducted to compare emergency department patient comprehension of rapid HIV pre-test information using different methods to deliver this information.

Methods

Patients were enrolled for these two trials at a US emergency department between February 2005 and January 2006. In Trial One, patients were randomized to a no pre-test information or an in-person discussion arm. In Trial Two, a separate group of patients were randomized to an in-person discussion arm or a Tablet PC-based video arm. The video, "Do you know about rapid HIV testing?", and the in-person discussion contained identical Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-suggested pre-test information components as well as information on rapid HIV testing with OraQuick®. Participants were compared by information arm on their comprehension of the pre-test information by their score on a 26-item questionnaire using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test.

Results

In Trial One, 38 patients completed the no-information arm and 31 completed the in-person discussion arm. Of these 69 patients, 63.8% had twelve years or fewer of formal education and 66.7% had previously been tested for HIV. The mean score on the questionnaire for the in-person discussion arm was higher than for the no information arm (18.7 vs. 13.3, p ≤ 0.0001). In Trial Two, 59 patients completed the in-person discussion and 55 completed the video arms. Of these 114 patients, 50.9% had twelve years or fewer of formal education and 68.4% had previously been tested for HIV. The mean score on the questionnaire for the video arm was similar to the in-person discussion arm (20.0 vs. 19.2; p ≤ 0.33).

Conclusion

The video "Do you know about rapid HIV testing?" appears to be an acceptable substitute for an in-person pre-test discussion on rapid HIV testing with OraQuick®. In terms of adequately informing ED patients about rapid HIV testing, either form of pre-test information is preferable than for patients to receive no pre-test information.