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Multimedia WORTH

Multimedia WORTH Partner(s): Nabila El-Bassel
Social Intervention Group, School of Social Work

Access: Private
Released: October 2009


WORTH is a computer-supported HIV prevention intervention for groups of drug-involved women who are on parole or in alternative to incarceration programs in New York. The goal of the intervention is to build positive peer norms and social support for HIV risk reduction. Multimedia WORTH is a collaboration between the Social Intervention Group (SIG) and CCNMTL. The multimedia intervention provides supplemental facilitator training, facilitator support resources, and participant activities. WORTH builds on CCNMTL and SIG's previous intervention projects to provide a combination of group activities and private activities for participants, and to include a narrative and cast of video characters who help lead participants through the intervention exercises.

Multimedia WORTH is funded by the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) and is part of a 5-year study to test the efficacy of multimedia versus traditional paper-based intervention models.

Project Details

WORTH stands for "Women On the Road To Health." The WORTH intervention was developed by researchers at Columbia University's Social Intervention Group (SIG) as a group-based, integrated drug use and HIV prevention intervention for low income, urban female offenders which addresses intimate partner violence and other gender specific risk factors for HIV. WORTH was tested and found to be efficacious in a variety of environments.

Typically, a group intervention consists of a standardized curriculum, activities, and scripted conversations that take place between a facilitator and a group of participants. Support materials, including scripts, activity instructions, and educational materials, are kept in a large binder for the facilitator to use as a reference during the intervention. The intervention takes place in the form of small lectures delivered by the facilitator and discussion between the facilitator and group members.
In contrast to the traditional format, Multimedia WORTH employs web-based interactive tools and culturally tailored video and interactive elements to enhance the delivery of the intervention. It increases individual learning opportunities and feedback through the use of private computers for each participant, and strengthens the group format through interactive group activities on the facilitator's presentation screen. The system’s interface functions as a road map, prompting facilitators to move sequentially through each activity without the need to rely on notes, memory, or previous experience

Multimedia WORTH is posited to enhance the quality of the facilitator’s delivery of the intervention and increase the fidelity of implementation. The study of WORTH currently underway will advance the science and extend the boundaries of multimedia HIV/STI prevention research by testing its efficacy with a criminal justice population of drug-involved female offenders. If Multimedia WORTH is found to be efficacious, its multimedia format may enhance the speed, quality, and scale of its dissemination in a range of overburdened criminal justice settings that serve offenders in the community.

Related news:
Dec-2011: CCNMTL Spotlights HIV Projects for World AIDS Day
Nov-2009: Health Facilitators Trained to Use New Multimedia WORTH Intervention
Oct-2008: CCNMTL Partners with Social Work Faculty on $3.3 Million Grant