A Review of Guidelines on Home Drug Testing Web Sites for Parents

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Abstract

Objectives:

To update and extend prior work reviewing Web sites that discuss home drug testing for parents, and assess the quality of information that the Web sites provide, to assist them in deciding when and how to use home drug testing.

Methods:

We conducted a worldwide Web search that identified 8 Web sites providing information for parents on home drug testing. We assessed the information on the sites using a checklist developed with field experts in adolescent substance abuse and psychosocial interventions that focus on urine testing.

Results:

None of the Web sites covered all the items on the 24-item checklist, and only 3 covered at least half of the items (12, 14, and 21 items, respectively). The remaining 5 Web sites covered less than half of the checklist items. The mean number of items covered by the Web sites was 11.

Conclusions:

Among the Web sites that we reviewed, few provided thorough information to parents regarding empirically supported strategies to effectively use drug testing to intervene on adolescent substance use. Furthermore, most Web sites did not provide thorough information regarding the risks and benefits to inform parents' decision to use home drug testing. Empirical evidence regarding efficacy, benefits, risks, and limitations of home drug testing is needed.

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