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Multimedia Connect

Multimedia Connect Partner(s): Susan Witte
School of Social Work

Access: Private
Released: June 2008


Multimedia Connect is a a computer-supported HIV prevention intervention for couples at risk for HIV developed by the School of Social Work's Social Intervention Group (SIG) and CCNMTL. The multimedia intervention provides supplemental facilitator training and support materials and participant activities. Together, SIG and CCNMTL have created a framework for delivering a proven intervention curriculum in a way that scaffolds the facilitator, while providing new options for national dissemination.

Multimedia Connect is funded by the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) and is part of a 5-year study testing ease of intervention adoption at community based organizations in New York State.

See also:

Download the informational page (PDF)
Watch Multimedia Connect at NME 2008
Visit the Multimedia Connect prototype

Project Details

Connect is a couples-level intervention for heterosexual couples at risk for HIV/STIs developed by the Social Intervention Group at the School of Social Work. The intervention has been proven to reduce risky behaviors in committed heterosexual couples, the fastest growing HIV-infected group in the US. Principal Investigator Susan Witte and CCNMTL have received funding from the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) to test a multimedia version of the intervention against the traditional paper-based version at 80 community-based organizations to measure levels of adoption of the intervention in its multimedia form.

Typically, an intervention consists of a standardized curriculum, activities, and scripted conversations that take place between a facilitator and one or more participants. Facilitators attend a one-time training to learn how to deliver the material effectively. Support materials, including scripts, activity instructions, and educational materials, are given to the facilitator to use as a reference during the intervention.

In contrast, Multimedia Connect represents a significant step forward in facilitator learning and intervention dissemination. Training materials, including an extensive library of videos focusing on facilitator skills and challenging areas of the intervention, are always available to facilitators for reference and training brush-ups. The bulky facilitator binder is eliminated and, instead, novice facilitators are provided with a computer-based 'road map' as they conduct the intervention with clients. Interactive educational activities engage the participants and the facilitator and capture participant goals and motivations in a digital journal that participants print and take home after each session.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have also provided funding to develop training tools to translate the existing Connect intervention materials for national dissemination. CCNMTL and Witte have packaged the intervention manual and all training materials, including 22 original video assets that model communication techniques and provide information about STIs. The materials will be used both to train facilitators and for use with intervention participants.

In addition to use in clinical settings, components of Multimedia Connect are already in use in classrooms at the Columbia School of Social Work. The network mapping tool is available to students in advanced clinical practice and field work courses, and many Connect videos are in use across the curriculum.

Related news:
Dec-2011: CCNMTL Spotlights HIV Projects for World AIDS Day
Dec-2009: Columbia News Singles Out Multimedia Connect on World AIDS Day
Aug-2007: CCNMTL and SIG Receive $3.5 Million Grant
Aug-2007: Press Release: NIMH Grant for Multimedia Connect
Nov-2006: Project Connect in the Columbia Daily Spectator