Objectives: A recent study demonstrated the efficacy of the SafERteens intervention in reducing peer violence among adolescents presenting to the emergency department (ED). The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of this ED-based brief intervention (BI) on dating violence 1 year following the ED visit among the subsample of adolescents in the original randomized controlled trial reporting past-year dating violence.
Methods: Patients (aged 14 to 18 years) at an ED were eligible for inclusion if they had past-year violence and alcohol use. Participants were randomized to one of three conditions (BI delivered by a computer [CBI], BI delivered by a therapist and a computer (T+CBI), or control) and completed follow-ups at 3, 6, and 12 months. In addition to content on alcohol misuse and peer violence, adolescents reporting dating violence received a tailored module on dating violence. The outcome of interest was frequency of moderate and severe dating violence victimization and aggression (baseline and 3, 6, and 12 months after ED visit).
Results: Among eligible adolescents, 55% (n = 397) reported dating violence and were included in these analyses. Compared to the control group (who received a resource brochure only), participants in the CBI showed reductions in moderate dating victimization at 3 months (inter-rater reliability [IRR] = 0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.51 to 0.99; p < 0.05) and 6 months (IRR = 0.56; 95% CI = 0.38 to 0.83; p < 0.01). Models examining interaction effects were significant for the CBI on moderate dating victimization at 3 months (IRR = 0.81; 95% CI = 0.67 to 0.98; p < 0.05) and 6 months (IRR = 0.81; 95% CI = 0.66 to 0.99; p < 0.05). Significant interaction effects were found for the T+CBI on moderate dating violence victimization at 6 months (IRR = 0.81; 95% CI = 0.69 to 0.96; p < 0.01) and 12 months (IRR = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.63 to 0.90; p < 0.001) and severe dating violence victimization at 3 months (IRR = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.59 to 0.96; p < 0.05).
Conclusions: ED-based BIs tailored to address multiple risk behaviors (i.e., peer violence, alcohol use, and dating violence) show promise for reducing moderate and severe dating victimization for up to 1 year following an ED visit.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00251212.
© 2013 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.