A cross-validation trial of an Internet-based prevention program for alcohol and cannabis: Preliminary results from a cluster randomised controlled trial

Katrina E. Champion*, Nicola C. Newton, Lexine Stapinski, Tim Slade, Emma L. Barrett, Maree Teesson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Replication is an important step in evaluating evidence-based preventive interventions and is crucial for establishing the generalizability and wider impact of a program. Despite this, few replications have occurred in the prevention science field. This study aims to fill this gap by conducting a cross-validation trial of the Climate Schools: Alcohol and Cannabis course, an Internet-based prevention program, among a new cohort of Australian students. Method: A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted among 1103 students (Mage: 13.25 years) from 13 schools in Australia in 2012. Six schools received the Climate Schools course and 7 schools were randomized to a control group (health education as usual). All students completed a self-report survey at baseline and immediately post-intervention. Mixed-effects regressions were conducted for all outcome variables. Outcomes assessed included alcohol and cannabis use, knowledge and intentions to use these substances. Results: Compared to the control group, immediately post-intervention the intervention group reported significantly greater alcohol (d = 0.67) and cannabis knowledge (d = 0.72), were less likely to have consumed any alcohol (even a sip or taste) in the past 6 months (odds ratio = 0.69) and were less likely to intend on using alcohol in the future (odds ratio = 0.62). However, there were no effects for binge drinking, cannabis use or intentions to use cannabis. Conclusion: These preliminary results provide some support for the Internet-based Climate Schools: Alcohol and Cannabis course as a feasible way of delivering alcohol and cannabis prevention. Intervention effects for alcohol and cannabis knowledge were consistent with results from the original trial; however, analyses of longer-term follow-up data are needed to provide a clearer indication of the efficacy of the intervention, particularly in relation to behavioral changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-73
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • cannabis
  • Internet
  • prevention
  • replication
  • school-based

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