Comment on the Paper by Suffoletto et al. Entitled: Text-Message-Based Assessments and Brief Intervention for Young Adults Discharged from the Emergency Department
Reprint requests: Janette Baird, PhD, Brown University, Emergency Medicine, 55 Claverick Street, Providence, RI 02903; Tel.: 401-444-2976; Fax: 401-444-2249; E-mail:email@example.comFrom the Department of Emergency Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital (JB, MLR, MJM), Injury Prevention Center; Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University (JB, MLR, MJM); and Department of Community Health (MJM), Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.
This commentary discusses the importance of the recent article by Suffoletto and colleagues (in press), from the perspective of the developing role that technology such as text-messaging is serving as a means of increasing the reach of brief interventions for harmful alcohol use.
This study is important as it offers evidence from a well-designed study that text-messaging can be used to survey young adults about their alcohol use shows promising results for the potential efficacy of this technology to reduce alcohol use, including risky heavy episodic use. There are ethical and clinical considerations around text-messaging that need to be examined.
Future adequately powered randomized studies are needed to show the comparative effect of new technologies, such as text-messaging, in comparison with more traditional methods of providing interventions in reducing harmful alcohol use.