Electronic Self-Administered Screening for Substance Use in Adult Primary Care Patients

 Electronic Self-Administered Screening for Substance Use in Adult Primary Care PatientsScreening for substance use in primary care or general medical settings requires the use of a tool that identifies illicit and prescription opioid use as a component of a general screen for problem use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, while still remaining brief enough to fit into routine clinical care.

The TAPS Tool is a substance use screening and brief assessment instrument that was developed for this purpose. It can provide rapid assessment of all commonly used substances, including illicit and prescription opioids, and is one of the only available screeners designed and validated in an electronic self-administered format (myTAPS).

This secondary analysis of data from the TAPS Tool validation study (CTN-0059) describes the feasibility and acceptability of the myTAPS among primary care patients.

Adults (N=2000) from five primary care clinics completed the TAPS Tool on a tablet computer (MyTAPS) and via an interviewer-administered format. Requests for assistance and time required to complete the tool were tracked, and participants also completed a survey about ease of use, use of audio guidance, and format preference.

Almost all participants (98.3%) reported that the myTAPS was easy to use. It took about 4 minutes for patients to complete the survey. Older participants and those who were Hispanic, Black, or reported non-medical prescription drug use needed more time to finish the survey, while less time was needed by women.

About 25% of participants needed help with the survey, with assistance requested the most by those with lower education or who were over the age of 65. Approximately 18% reported using the audio guidance feature. The tablet-based myTAPS format was preferred by women and individuals reporting drug use, while participants with lower education preferred the interviewer-administered format.

Conclusions: Overall, the tablet-based myTAPS screening was feasible and well accepted by adult primary care patients. Clinics interested in adopting electronic screening should be ready to offer assistance to some patients, particularly those who are older or less educated, and should be sure to have an interviewer-administered option available to those who prefer it.

Citation: Adam A, et al. Electronic Self-Administered Screening for Substance Use in Adult Primary Care Patients: Feasibility and Acceptability of the Tobacco, Alcohol, Prescription Medication, and Other Substance Use (myTAPS) Screening Tool. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice 2019;14:39.


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Adam A, et al. Electronic Self-Administered Screening for Substance Use in Adult Primary Care Patients: Feasibility and Acceptability of the Tobacco, Alcohol, Prescription Medication, and Other Substance Use (myTAPS) Screening Tool. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice 2019;14:39.