BSAFER: A Web-based intervention for drug use and intimate partner violence demonstrates feasibility and acceptability among women in the emergency department

Esther Choo, Caron Zlotnick, David R. Strong, Daniel D. Squires, Chantal Tapé, Michael J. Mello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Background: Addressing violence along with drug use change goals is critical for women with coexisting intimate partner violence (IPV) and substance use disorders (SUDs). Methods: This was an acceptability and feasibility study of BSAFER, a brief Web-based program and booster phone call addressing violence and drug use. A screening survey identified women with recent drug use and IPV in the emergency department (ED). Participants were randomized to BSAFER or a Web-based control program and booster call providing education about home fire safety. Program completion, usability, satisfaction, and motivational interviewing (MI) adherence were primary outcomes. Drug use and IPV outcomes were measured at baseline, 1 month, and 3 months. Results: Forty women were enrolled (21 BSAFER, 19 control); 50% were nonwhite and mean age was 30 years. The most commonly used drugs were marijuana (88%) and cocaine (30%); 45% reported physical abuse, and 33% reported severe combined physical and sexual abuse. Thirty-nine (98%) completed the Web program, 30 (75%) completed the booster, and 29 (73%) completed the 3-month follow-up. Mean System Usability Scale (SUS) for the BSAFER Web program was 84 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 78–89) of 100; mean Client Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ-8) was 28 (95% CI: 26–29) of 32. MI adherence scores were high and similar for both the Web program and the booster. Both intervention and control groups had small mean decreases in weekly drug use days (0.7 vs. 1.5 days); participants using drugs other than marijuana demonstrated greater average reductions in drug use than those using marijuana only. Conclusions: An ED Web-based intervention for SUDs and IPV in women demonstrated feasibility and acceptability. Future studies will examine efficacy of the BSAFER program and investigate whether specific subgroups of drug using women may be most responsive to ED-based Web interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSubstance Abuse
StateAccepted/In press - May 25 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Computers
  • domestic violence
  • drug use disorders
  • emergency medicine
  • intervention studies
  • women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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