In the United States adolescents presenting to an inner-city emergency department (ED) are more likely to die from violence than from any other condition for which they seek ED care. They also lack a primary care physician and irregularly attend their school. They use Internet more often than adults.
This makes their visits to the ED department a great opportunity to refer them to relevant and accurate health websites especially violent prevention websites.
From adolescents visiting the ED 115 participated in a survey and they were referred to a violence prevention website. The website offered tips for avoiding and resolving conflict.22% of them logged on the website.
Participant login did not significantly differ by gender, age, and type of ED visit. Youth who logged on had more Internet experience at baseline, and were more likely to have home access, than those who did not
Also youth with more baseline Internet experience and who were victimized by violence were significantly more likely to log in, whereas African American youth and youth who engaged in violent behaviors were less likely to log in. Delinquency, substance use, and community violence were not significant.
The Internet may provide a unique solution to educate adolescents and prevent violence. An unique opportunity to access urban adolescents. These findings may not be applicable to suburban areas.
M WALTON, R CUNNINGHAM, Y XUE, M TROWBRIDGE, M ZIMMERMAN, R MAIO (2008). Internet Referrals for Adolescent Violence Prevention: An Innovative Mechanism for Inner-city Emergency Departments Journal of Adolescent Health, 43 (3), 309-312 DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2008.01.016