Gut and Gastroenterology


I-Pad Based Psychosocial Assessment in a Pediatric IBD Clinic

Author(s): Robert M. Issenman, Sufian Odeh

Background: The HEEADDSS psychosocial assessment interview is recommended to determine risk and resilience among teens and preteens. Its inconsistent use in specialty clinics has been attributed to time constraints, and specialists’ lack of familiarity with the instrument. This study explores the feasibility, and acceptability of using TickiT®, a digital version of the HEADDSS presented on a tablet (iPad®), in a busy pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Clinic. The study also presents data on risk taking behaviours and resilience factors in this population.
Methods: Sixty outpatients (mean age 14.88 +/- 1.93 years, 43% female) attending the McMaster Children’s Hospital Pediatric IBD clinic completed the electronic HEADDSS assessment (TickiT®). Tabulated responses were provided to attending physicians.
Results: Fifty of the 60 participants had inactive disease at the time of the study. All of the patient approached completed the assessment and 98% of the patients found the graphic presentation of questions easy to use and understand. Ninety-three percent (93%) of the participants reported that the survey responses provided important information for the health care team. Standardized live reports highlighting resiliency and risk-taking behaviors, and emotions were generated for physician/allied health review.
Discussion: The study demonstrates the effectiveness of a digital application (TickiT®) for psychosocial screening in a pediatric IBD clinic. The ready availability of patient reports for the health care team provided a comprehensive understanding of the psychosocial status of the patient with the added benefit of identifying at risk patients in need of immediate attention.

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