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Tag: health literacy

Technology-Assisted Opioid Education for Out-of-Treatment Adults With Opioid Use Disorder

Toegel F, Novak MD, Rodewald AM, Leoutsakos JM, Silverman K & Holtyn AF. (2022). Technology-assisted opioid education for out-of-treatment adults with opioid use disorder. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 36(5), 555–564.

This pre-post study evaluated the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a technology-assisted education program for adults at higher risk of opioid overdose. The education program was self-paced and included three courses: 1) introduction to opioids, 2) preventing, detecting, and responding to an opioid overdose, and 3) opioid use disorder medications. Each course presented information and then prompted the user to complete a multiple-choice quiz to assess mastery of course material; incorrect answers produced feedback and participants were required to answer the question again to be able to advance to the next course. Forty adult participants with opioid use disorder who were not currently in treatment and who were living in Baltimore, Maryland were referred from community agencies and enrolled in the study. The education program took on average 91 minutes to complete and most participants completed the program in a single day. The mean score for the baseline test was 85% accuracy, indicating that participants already had prior knowledge of opioids, opioid overdoses, and medications. After completion of the program, participants showed significant improvement in test scores across all three courses (increase of 9.1%, 5.8%, and 10.1% respectively; p<.001); this was independent of education, employment, and poverty status. Participants with less than 12 years of education had significantly lower scores than those with 12 or more years of education. The computerized opioid education program demonstrated preliminary feasibility and efficacy in an uncontrolled trial among at-risk adults. Mobile technology allows for the potential to disseminate widely.


Effectiveness of a web-based tobacco product use prevention videogame intervention on young adolescents’ beliefs and knowledge

Hieftje K, Fernandes C, Lin I, Fiellin L. (2021). Effectiveness of a web-based tobacco product use prevention videogame intervention on young adolescents’ beliefs and knowledge. Substance Abuse. 42(1): 47-53. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2019.1691128

Researchers recruited adolescents (n = 560) age 10–16 years from schools and afterschool programs across the U.S. to participate in a study of the effectiveness of a web-based videogame tobacco prevention intervention, smokeSCREEN. Informed by social cognitive theory and the theory of planned behavior, the intervention facilitates tobacco use prevention in adolescents by increasing knowledge and promoting healthy beliefs around combustible cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping, and flavored tobacco product use. smokeSCREEN comprises two mini-games: Refusal Power (players practice refusing peers in risky situations involving tobacco products, with a focus on vaping and JUUL vapes) and Knew Sense (provides tobacco use information, which players practice applying through role-play with a cartoon peer character). Participants accessed smokeSCREEN through a private, password-protected website during school or in an afterschool program. Total game time was one to two hours. Participants completed a survey on knowledge and beliefs about tobacco product use at baseline and post-intervention through a secure website. At post-intervention, participants also answered questions on gameplay experience. Analysis revealed significant increases in the proportions of correct survey answers between baseline and post-intervention for all six questions about knowledge of tobacco product use. Participants also demonstrated significant improvement in the number of correct answers for seven of the eight total questions on beliefs about tobacco product use from baseline to post-intervention. Seventy-six percent of participants reported learning something new from playing smokeSCREEN, 69% enjoyed the game, and 58% would recommend smokeSCREEN to friends. Results suggest that smokeSCREEN has a beneficial effect on participant knowledge and beliefs about tobacco product use and is acceptable to adolescents.


Associations of health literacy, social media use, and self-efficacy with health information–seeking intentions among social media users in China: Cross-sectional survey

Niu Z, Willoughby J, Zhou R. Associations of health literacy, social media use, and self-efficacy with health information–seeking intentions among social media users in China: Cross-sectional survey. J Med Internet Res 2021;23(2):e19134. DOI: 10.2196/19134

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey to investigate the associations between health literacy, health-related social media use, self-efficacy, and health behavioral intentions online. The online survey was disseminated using a paid advertisement service and participants who were at least 18 years old and social media users were eligible to participate. The survey was completed by 449 adults in China. Participants were asked about frequency of social media use for health information, health literacy, self-efficacy in managing one’s health, and behavioral intention regarding health information seeking on social media. Results found that self-efficacy mediated the effects of health literacy and social media use on health information seeking behavioral intentions. Age of the participants significantly moderated the effects of health literacy on self-efficacy. Specifically, there was a stronger association between health literacy and health self-efficacy for younger participants (ages 23-30 years old) relative to older participants (over 30 years old). Findings give insight into the mechanisms behind health-related social media use.


Health-related internet use among opioid treatment patients

Masson C, Chen I, Levine J, Shopshire M, Sorensen J. (2019). Health-related internet use among opioid treatment patients. Addictive Behaviors Reports. 9: 100157. doi: 10.1016/j.abrep.2018.100157

Researchers surveyed 178 patients (ages 18-64) of a San Francisco methadone treatment program to examine how socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) use mobile technology and the internet. Read More


Online help-seeking prior to diagnosis: Can web-based resources reduce the duration of untreated mood disorders in young people?

Van Meter A, Birnbaum M, Rizvi A, Kane J. (2019). Online help-seeking prior to diagnosis: Can web-based resources reduce the duration of untreated mood disorders in young people? Journal of Affective Disorders. 252: 130-134. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.04.019

Researchers recruited 40 individuals (aged 15-35) with a recent diagnosis of depression, bipolar disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder from inpatient and outpatient psychiatric departments across North America for a qualitative study to examine how young people sought help and symptom information online. Read More


Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on New Steps to Advance Agency’s Continued Evaluation of Potential Regulatory Pathways for Cannabis-Containing and Cannabis-Derived Products

Article Excerpt: …the FDA stands ready to protect consumers from companies illegally selling CBD products that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure serious diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders and diabetes. The agency has and will continue to monitor the marketplace and take enforcement action as needed to protect the public health against companies illegally selling cannabis and cannabis-derived products that can put consumers at risk and are being marketed and distributed in violation of the FDA’s authorities.

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Article Source: FDA


Study: Patients with low health literacy less likely to use digital tools

Article Excerpt: Do digital tools lead to better health literacy? Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin explored if there was a link in health knowledge and health information technology, and found, generally speaking, that those with low health literacy were less likely to use tools like apps and online information sources.

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Article Source: MobiHealthNews


What passes for medical advice online isn’t actually true or safe

Article Excerpt: How do we know what to believe about anything? In times past we read books, we took classes, we spoke to experts. These days? These days we do the same, but we also search the Internet. And we seem to do it with special fervor when it comes to questions about our health.

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