Online Versus In-Person Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment Training in Pediatrics Residents

Erin L. Giudice, Linda O. Lewin, Christopher Welsh, Taylor B.erens Crouch, Katherine S. Wright, Janine Delahanty, Carlo C. DiClemente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Pediatricians underestimate the prevalence of substance misuse among children and adolescents and often fail to screen for and intervene in practice. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends training in Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), but training outcomes and skill acquisition are rarely assessed.

OBJECTIVE: We compared the effects of online versus in-person SBIRT training on pediatrics residents' knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and skills.

METHODS: Forty pediatrics residents were randomized to receive either online or in-person training. Skills were assessed by pre- and posttraining standardized patient interviews that were coded for SBIRT-adherent and -nonadherent behaviors and global skills by 2 trained coders. Thirty-two residents also completed pre- and postsurveys of their substance use knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors (KABs). Two-way repeated measures multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs) and analyses of variance (ANOVAs) estimates were used to assess group differences in skill acquisition and KABs.

RESULTS: Findings indicated that both groups demonstrated skill improvement from pre- to postassessment. Results indicated that both groups increased their knowledge, self-reported behaviors, confidence, and readiness with no significant between-group differences. Follow-up univariate analyses indicated that, while both groups increased their SBIRT-adherent skills, the online training group displayed more "undesirable" behaviors posttraining.

CONCLUSIONS: The current study indicates that brief training, online or in-person, can increase pediatrics residents' SBIRT skills, knowledge, self-reported behaviors, confidence, and readiness. The findings further indicate that in-person training may have incremental benefit in teaching residents what not to do.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of graduate medical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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