Electronic self-administered screening for substance use in adult primary care patients: feasibility and acceptability of the tobacco, alcohol, prescription medication, and other substance use (myTAPS) screening tool.
BACKGROUND: The TAPS Tool is a substance use screening and brief assessment instrument that was developed for use in primary care medical settings. It is one of the first screening instruments to provide rapid assessment of all commonly used substance classes, including illicit and prescription opioids, and is one of the only available screeners designed and validated in an electronic self-administered format (myTAPS). This secondary analysis of data from the TAPS Tool validation study describes the feasibility and acceptability of the myTAPS among primary care patients.
METHODS: Adult patients (N = 2000) from five primary care clinics completed the TAPS Tool on a tablet computer (myTAPS), and in an interviewer-administered format. Requests for assistance and time required were tracked, and participants completed a survey on ease of use, utilization of audio guidance, and format preference. Logistic regression was used to examine outcomes in defined subpopulations, including groups that may have greater difficulty completing an electronic screener, and those that may prefer an electronic self-administered approach.
RESULTS: Almost all participants (98.3%) reported that the myTAPS was easy to use. The median time to complete myTAPS screening was 4.0 min (mean 4.48, standard deviation 2.57). More time was required by participants who were older, Hispanic, Black, or reported non-medical prescription drug use, while less time was required by women. Assistance was requested by 25% of participants, and was more frequently requested by those who with lower education (OR = 2.08, 95% CI 1.62-2.67) or age > 65 years (OR = 2.79, 95% CI 1.98-3.93). Audio guidance was utilized by 18.3%, and was more frequently utilized by participants with lower education (OR = 2.01, 95% CI 1.54-2.63), age > 65 years (OR = 1.79, 95% CI 1.22-2.61), or Black race (OR = 1.30, 95% 1.01-1.68). The myTAPS format was preferred by women (OR = 1.29, 95% CI 1.00-1.66) and individuals with drug use (OR = 1.43, 95% CI 1.09-1.88), while participants with lower education preferred the interviewer-administered format (OR = 2.75, 95% CI 2.00-3.78).
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, myTAPS screening was feasible and well accepted by adult primary care patients. Clinics adopting electronic screening should be prepared to offer assistance to some patients, particularly those who are older or less educated, and should have the capacity to use an interviewer-administered approach when required.