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CCNMTL Partners with Social Work Faculty on $3.3 Million Grant

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October 20, 2008. A $3.3 million, five-year grant was awarded to Dr. Nabila El-Bassel of the Columbia University School of Social Work by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study the efficacy of a multimedia HIV prevention program to be developed with the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL).

CCNMTL will work closely with Dr. El-Bassel and the Social Intervention Group (SIG) research team to create Multimedia WORTH (Women on the Road to Health), an online, interactive version of a drug use and HIV/STI prevention intervention that has proven effective for female offenders in a large Alternative-to-Incarceration Probation Program in New York City. Recent studies have found that female offenders under community supervision test HIV positive at rates that are four times higher than the general population.

“There is an urgent need to identify and scale up evidence-based HIV prevention interventions for drug-involved women on probation,” said Dr. El-Bassel. “Our hypothesis is that use of multimedia will result in superior outcomes.”

Multimedia modules developed for the intervention – including video models and interactive tools – will also be used in Columbia courses to help social work and public health students, and other human service professions develop the skills needed in these fields. SIG researchers hypothesize that multimedia will result in better facilitator delivery of the four-session, gender-specific intervention and will generate a better response to the intervention by study participants.

“Putting technology to work in the service of improving the human condition is at the heart of CCNMTL’s Triangle Initiative,” said Frank Moretti, executive director of CCNMTL. “We look forward to working with SIG on extending the knowledge, and eventually the reach, of multimedia-driven health interventions through research and education.”

Related links:
pdf link Download the press release (PDF)

Related news:
Dec-01-2011: CCNMTL Spotlights HIV Projects for World AIDS Day
Nov-04-2009: Health Facilitators Trained to Use New Multimedia WORTH Intervention