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Ann Emerg Med. 2011 Jul;58(1 Suppl 1):S114-9.e1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2011.03.035.

Can computer-based feedback improve emergency department patient uptake of rapid HIV screening?

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.



We determine whether (1) an audiocomputer-delivered tailored feedback intervention increases emergency department (ED) patient uptake of opt-in, nontargeted rapid HIV screening; and (2) uptake is greater among patients who report more HIV risk and among those whose self-perceived HIV risk increases from baseline after completion of an HIV risk assessment.


ED patients aged 18 to 64 years were randomly assigned to receive either an assessment about reported and self-perceived HIV risk or an identical assessment plus feedback about their risk for having or acquiring an HIV infection, tailored according to their reported risk. All participants were offered a fingerstick rapid HIV test. Two-sample tests of binomial proportions were used to compare screening uptake by study arm. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the relationship of reported HIV risk and an increase in self-perceived HIV risk with uptake of HIV screening.


Of the 566 participants, the median age was 29 years, 62.2% were women, and 66.9% previously had been tested for HIV. Uptake of HIV screening was similar in the intervention and no intervention arms (54.1% versus 55.5% [Δ=-0.01%; 95% confidence interval {CI} -0.09% to 0.07%]). An increase in self-perceived HIV risk predicted greater uptake of HIV screening for women (odds ratio 2.15; 95% CI 1.08 to 4.28) but not men (odds ratio 1.61; 95% CI 0.60 to 4.30). Uptake of HIV screening was not related to reported HIV risk.


Uptake of rapid HIV screening in the ED was not improved by this feedback intervention. Other methods need to be investigated to improve uptake of HIV screening by ED patients.

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