News&Views

August 13, 2007

Safe kids

Using A Computer Kiosk to Promote Child Safety: Results of a Randomized, Controlled Trial in an Urban Pediatric Emergency Department, from this month’s Pediatrics, studied the effects of computers on parental education regarding safety issues in children. The study used Johns Hopkins’ Safety in Seconds program delivered on a  computer kiosk set up in their pediatric emergency department’s waiting room. After answering a few questions on the computer about their beliefs regarding child safety, parents then received a personalized report with ”tailored, stage-based safety messages” on selected topics that was, according to the study’s outcome measures, better read and acted upon by parents as compared to a boilerplate report given to a control group of parents. The patient population in this study was drawn from a lower income urban population, so they may have less access to computers without conveniently located, specially programmed kiosks—and so less access to their health information benefits, particularly the computer’s abilty to easily customize patient education, as this study demonstrates.



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