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Health Care Manag Sci. 1999 Dec;2(4):199-204.

Automated telephone-administered substance abuse screening for adults in primary care.

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Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board, Cleveland, OH 44113, USA.


Despite a general awareness that screening for substance abuse is an important component of primary care, many clinicians are reluctant to screen for such issues. This study examines the utility of an interactive telephone technology for screening for substance abuse in primary care settings. The study was conducted at two primary care medical practices in Cleveland, Ohio. The project was implemented in two phases. The first phase examines the general reaction to the new screening methodology of 305 patients and 40 practitioners in two general medical practices. The second phase examines the concordance of patient responses given to the telecomputer screening system as compared to responses given to a research nurse in the practice. Results indicate that both patients and practitioners have generally positive reactions to this mode of screening and results may be comparable to clinician-administered screening.

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