Patient satisfaction with rapid HIV testing in the emergency department

Ann Emerg Med. 2011 Jul;58(1 Suppl 1):S49-52. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2011.03.024.


Objective: Patient satisfaction with HIV screening is crucial for sustainable implementation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) HIV testing recommendations. This investigation assesses patient satisfaction with rapid HIV testing in the emergency department (ED) of an urban tertiary academic medical center.

Methods: After receiving HIV test results, participants in the Universal Screening for HIV Infection in the Emergency Room (USHER) randomized controlled trial were offered a patient satisfaction survey. Questions concerned overall satisfaction with ED visit, time spent on primary medical problem, time spent on HIV testing, and test provider's ability to answer HIV-related questions. Responses were reported on a 4-point Likert scale, ranging from very dissatisfied to very satisfied (defined as optimal satisfaction).

Results: Of 4,860 USHER participants, 2,025 completed testing and were offered the survey: 1,616 (79.8%) completed the survey. Overall, 1,478 (91.5%) were very satisfied. Satisfaction was less than optimal for 34.5% (10 of 29) of participants with reactive results and for 7.5% (115 of 1,542) with nonreactive results. The independent factors associated with less than optimal satisfaction were reactive test result, aged 60 years or older, black race, Hispanic/Latino ethnicity, and testing by ED provider instead of HIV counselor.

Conclusion: Most participants were very satisfied with the ED-based rapid HIV testing program. Identification of independent factors that correlate with patient satisfaction will help guide best practices as EDs implement CDC recommendations. It is critical to better understand whether patients with reactive results were negatively affected by their results or truly had concerns about the testing process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis* / psychology
  • AIDS Serodiagnosis* / standards
  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Boston
  • Emergency Service, Hospital* / standards
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / psychology
  • Mass Screening / standards
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Racial Groups