Data (Information)

Efficacy of a group-based multimedia HIV prevention intervention for drug-involved women under community supervision: Project WORTH

El-Bassel, Nabila; Gilbert, Louisa; Goddard-Eckrich, Dawn A.; Chang, Mingway P.; Wu, Elwin; Hunt, Timothy; Epperson, Matthew W.; Shaw, Stacey A.; Rowe, Jessica C.; Almonte, Maria; Witte, Susan S.

Importance: This study is designed to address the need for evidence-based HIV/STI prevention approaches for drug-involved women under criminal justice community supervision.Objective: We tested the efficacy of a group-based traditional and multimedia HIV/STI prevention intervention (Project WORTH: Women on the Road to Health) among drug-involved women under community supervision. Design, Setting, Participants, and Intervention]: We randomized 306 women recruited from community supervision settings to receive either: (1) a four-session traditional group-based HIV/STI prevention intervention (traditional WORTH); (2) a four-session multimedia group-based HIV/STI prevention intervention that covered the same content as traditional WORTH but was delivered in a computerized format; or (3) a four-session group-based Wellness Promotion intervention that served as an attention control condition. The study examined whether the traditional or multimedia WORTH intervention was more efficacious in reducing risks when compared to Wellness Promotion; and whether multimedia WORTH was more efficacious in reducing risks when compared to traditional WORTH. Main Outcomes and Measures: Participants were assessed at baseline and with repeated assessments at three, six, and 12-months post-intervention. Primary outcomes were assessed over the 12-month post-intervention period and included the number of unprotected sex acts, the proportion of protected sex acts, and consistent condom use. At baseline, 77% of participants reported unprotected vaginal or anal sex (n= 237) and 63% (n=194) had multiple sex partners.

[Results]: Over the 12-month follow up period, women assigned to traditional or multimedia WORTH were significantly more likely than women assigned to the control condition to report an increase in the proportion of protected sex acts (β=0.10; 95% CI= 0.02-0.18) and a decrease in the number of unprotected sex acts (IRR = 0.72; 95% CI = 0.57-0.90). There were no significant differences in condom use outcomes between multimedia and traditional WORTH study arms.

[Conclusion and Relevance]: The promising effects of traditional and multimedia WORTH on increasing condom use and high participation rates suggest that WORTH may be scaled up to redress the concentrated epidemics of HIV/STIs among drug-involved women in the criminal justice system.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning
Published Here
September 26, 2014


The underlying data for an article published by El-Bassel et. al. (2014). View the article in Academic Commons at or on the journal website at