Waiting room video may help trim STDs

August 13, 2008

New infections among patients at sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics can be reduced by up to 10% by showing a brief educational video in the waiting room, according to an article published in the June issue of PLoS Medicine.

New infections among patients at sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics can be reduced by up to 10% by showing a brief educational video in the waiting room, according to an article published in the June issue of PLoS Medicine.

Lee Warner, PhD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a trial in three publicly funded STD clinics in three US cities, comprising a cohort of 38,635 patients who were randomized to a standard waiting room environment or one in which they watched a 23-minute video on how couples adopted safer sexual practices.

The patients were followed-up for an average of 14.8 months, during which time 2,042 patients were diagnosed with an STD, the report indicates. The rate was 4.9% for those who were in the intervention group and 5.7% for the controls.

“These interventions have the potential to reach large numbers of STD clinic patients efficiently and to be acceptable to clinic staff because they are easy to implement and inexpensive,” the authors write. “Given that STD clinics account for only a minority of diagnosed infections, future research should evaluate the appropriateness, applicability and effectiveness of video interventions in other settings serving at-risk populations, including family planning clinics, adolescent clinics, jails and detention centers, urgent care settings and private clinic settings.”

Warner L, Klausner JD, Rietmeijer CA, et al. Effect of a brief video intervention on incident infection among patients attending sexually transmitted disease clinics. PLoS Med. 2008;5:e135. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050135.g002. Available at: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050135. Accessed August 6, 2008.