When Disclosing Sensitive Info, Patients Prefer App vs Staff: Study
Patients using a tablet-based app were more than twice as likely to disclose depression, intimate partner violence, and fall risk compared with verbal screenings, according to a new study. The study, published online today in JAMA Network Open, includes the use of mPath, a tablet-based app created by a team of researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Nearly 1 in 5 adults (52.9 million in 2020) in the United States experience mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health; this can include mild to severe mental illness. Intimate partner violence affects approximately 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men across the country, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The federal agency also finds that more than 43 million American women and 38 million men endure intimate partner-related psychological aggression in their lifetimes. Meanwhile, approximately 36 million older adults fall in the United States each year and more than 32,000 seniors die as a result, according to the CDC. While the cause of the fall can range from poor eyesight to ill-managed diabetes to loose rugs, per the National Institute on Aging, the end result can be a broken bone, which can require a trip to the hospital, or even disability.
@banani Patients perceive tablet-based screening as more private than in-person screening, according to the study. Because of this perception, patients are more likely to provide more sensitive information in an app, write the authors, who add that medical office staff are often busy, which can lead them to paraphrase screening questions. Use of the app by front desk staff varied from 10.3% to 60.5% across the six practices, according to the study, which largely occurred because of how staff handed the tablet to patients.