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Primary prevention research: a preliminary review of program outcome studies

International Journal of the Addictions 15(5): 657-676
Primary prevention research: a preliminary review of program outcome studies
This article reviews 35 drug abuse prevention program evaluations employing drug-specific outcome measures. Many of these evaluations assessed the effects of "new generation" prevention strategies: affective, peer-oriented, and multidimensional approaches. Only 14 studies evaluated purely informational programs. Evaluations were analyzed to ascertain (1) characteristics of the programs under study, (2) characteristics of the research designs, and (3) patterns among findings. This review provides some evidence that the newer prevention strategies may produce more positive and fewer negative outcomes than did older drug information approaches. Over 70% of the programs using the newer strategies produced some positive effects; only 29% showed negative effects. In contrast, 46% of informational programs showed positive effects; 46% showed negative effects. These findings must be approached with great caution, since the research was frequently scientifically inadequate, and since rigor of research was negatively correlated with intensity and duration of program services.

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Accession: 006184090

PMID: 7419300

DOI: 10.3109/10826088009040046

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