ED visit during therapy increases short-term gains for adolescent interventions
Interventions may be more successful in the short-term when teenagers have a chance to actually see the effects of risky behaviors. According to Maureen A. Walton, MPH, PhD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues, visiting an emergency department (ED) provides just such a teachable moment. According their study’s findings, which were published in the August 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, visiting an ED during a brief session with a therapist helped teens achieve short-term avoidance of violent behavior and alcohol use. Over the long-term (six months later) the effects had dissipated in the adolescent sample, but were replaced with significant reductions in negative consequences from alcohol use, such as skipping school. The researchers did acknowledge, however, the lack of self-report reliability derived from a computer administered questioner due to embarrassment about alcohol use among teenagers. “Violence and alcohol consequences might be seen by adolescents as most embarrassing… and these accounted for the observed differences,” explained Saitz and Naimi. Click here to read an article from Web MD that discusses this study more.