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Health Facilitators Trained to Use New Multimedia WORTH Intervention

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November 4, 2009. CCNMTL and the Social Intervention Group (SIG) at the Columbia School of Social Work trained health facilitators in New York City last week to use a multimedia HIV prevention program designed for drug-involved women who are on probation or parole. The program, Multimedia WORTH (Women On The Road To Health), was developed by CCNMTL and SIG faculty partner Professor Nabila El-Bassel and is funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Multimedia WORTH delivers interactive activities, such as quizzes, games, and motivational videos, that teach participants pertinent HIV prevention behaviors—communication and negotiation skills, health care and maintenance, and feelings of self worth and empowerment. In addition to educational activities, Multimedia WORTH offers online customized journals for participants and supervisory reports for facilitators. The program is delivered on laptop computers used by participants in both individual and facilitator-supported group sessions.

CCNMTL and SIG created Multimedia WORTH as part of a research project to evaluate the efficacy of a multimedia-supported intervention versus a traditional paper-based intervention. A randomized trial conducted in November will test the ability of Multimedia WORTH to increase condom use, decrease the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and reduce substance use among 432 drug involved female offenders in an Alternative-to-Incarceration (ATI) program in New York City.

In preparation for the trial, CCNMTL developers trained Multimedia WORTH facilitators who will deliver the program to groups of six to eight women over a span of 18 weeks. Once the trial is completed, CCNMTL and SIG will analyze and publish their findings, and elements of Multimedia WORTH will be used to train Columbia social work students preparing for careers in the criminal justice system.

Multimedia WORTH builds on CCNMTL’s work with HIV-related behavior change interventions, following the lead of Multimedia Connect and SMART+SA. The program will help CCNMTL and SIG understand how technology-mediated interventions can improve a participant’s ability to achieve the desired behavior changes.

Related news:
Dec-01-2011: CCNMTL Spotlights HIV Projects for World AIDS Day
Oct-20-2008: CCNMTL Partners with Social Work Faculty on $3.3 Million Grant