BACKGROUND: Computer technologies hold promise for implementing tobacco screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT). This study aims to evaluate a computerized tobacco SBIRT system called the Health Evaluation and Referral Assistant (HERA).
METHODS: Smokers (n = 421) presenting to an emergency department were randomly assigned to the HERA or a minimal-treatment Control and were followed for 3 months. Analyses compared smoking cessation treatment provider contact, treatment initiation, treatment completion, and smoking behavior across condition using univariable comparisons, generalized estimating equations (GEE), and post hoc Chi square analyses.
RESULTS: HERA participants were more likely to initiate contact with a treatment provider but did not differ on treatment initiation, quit attempts, or sustained abstinence. Subanalyses revealed HERA participants who accepted a faxed referral were more likely to initiate treatment but were not more likely to stop smoking.
CONCLUSIONS: The HERA promoted initial contact with a smoking cessation provider and the faxed referral further promoted treatment initiation, but it did not lead to improved abstinence.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT01153373.
- Brief intervention,
- Emergency medicine,
- Facilitated referral,
- Tobacco treatment,
- Tobacco screening
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