Last updated on May 2018

Personalized Health Assessment Related to Medications (Project PHARM)


Brief description of study

This research will adapt an evidence based intervention for alcohol and other drugs and evaluate its efficacy on Prescription Stimulant Medication (PSM) misuse in web-based and in-person formats for use with college students who have misused PSMs.

Detailed Study Description

This project proposes to evaluate the efficacy of Screening and Brief Interventions (SBIs) for reducing college students' PSM misuse through two different routes of screening and intervention across 9 colleges and universities spanning the United States. The research will consist of studies designed to 1) conduct focus groups to refine feedback materials (Study 1); 2) Conduct screening through the Registrar's student lists and implement a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a web-based PSM intervention at all sites (Study 2); and 3) Conduct screening and RCT through a university counseling center and healthcare center utilizing in-person and web-based PSM interventions compared to control.

Study 1 consists of conducting up to 5 focus groups of 8-12 people to elicit feedback regarding the Personalized Feedback Tool and make refinements prior to carrying out Study 2.

In Study 2, students from 9 college campuses are screened for past year PSM misuse. Those meeting study criteria are invited to complete a web-based baseline survey and are randomized to either receive the web-based personalized feedback intervention (PFI) or to assessment only control. Participants complete follow-up assessments at 6 and 12 months post-baseline to evaluate intervention efficacy. The investigators hypothesize that participants who receive the PFI will reduce PSM misuse assessed at 6 and 12 month follow-ups. The investigators further expect reductions in perceived benefits of PSM and perceived descriptive norms for PSM, and increases in use of alternative behaviors to support academic success, and expect these changes will mediate impacts on PSM use at follow-ups. Secondary effects of the intervention on alcohol and marijuana use are also anticipated, and these reductions are expected to partially mediate PSM outcomes. Finally, PSM motives and demographics as potential moderators of intervention efficacy will also be explored.

Lastly, Study 3 entails conducting screening and a RCT through a university counseling center and healthcare center. Eligible students will be randomized to one of 3 conditions: in-person PFI, web-based PFI, or control. Both of the interventions aim to reduce perceived benefits of PSM, normative perceptions of PSM, and increase alternative behaviors, thereby reducing PSM and other substance use (specifically marijuana and alcohol). Participants complete a follow-up assessment at 6 months post-baseline to evaluate intervention efficacy. The investigators hypothesize: 1) both web- and in-person PFI will be more efficacious than control, 2) the in-person intervention will be more efficacious than web at 6 month follow-up, and 3) reductions in perceived benefits and norms of PSM and increases in alternative behaviors will mediate efficacy of both interventions, as will reductions in alcohol and marijuana use. Demographics and PSM motives will be explored as moderators of overall and differential efficacy.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03037476

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Amelia M Arria, Ph.D.

University of Washington
Seattle, WA United States
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