Purpose: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends substance use screening in adolescent primary care. Many studies of substance use prevalence and screening tool validation are conducted under research protocols that differ from routine clinical screening in context, consequences, and privacy implications.
Methods: This study is a secondary analysis drawing from two projects focused on adolescent primary care patients, aged 12-17, conducted nearly contemporaneously in a Federally Qualified Health Center system. The first project conducted anonymous research interviews with patients (N = 525), while the other tracked routine clinical screening as part of a larger service implementation project (N = 5,971). Both projects assessed substance use with the CRAFFT screening tool.
Results: Rates of substance use disclosure and substance use problems were over three and four times higher, respectively, in the anonymous research interview sample compared to rates found in routine clinical screening (p values < .001).
Conclusions: Routine clinical screening may underestimate substance use among adolescents.
Keywords: Primary care; Screening; Substance use.
Copyright © 2018 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.