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Drug education in victorian schools (DEVS): the study protocol for a harm reducation focused school drug education trail

Midford, Richard, Cahill, Helen, Foxcroft David, Lester, Leanne, Venning, Lynne, Ramsden, Robyn and Pose, Michelle (2012). Drug education in victorian schools (DEVS): the study protocol for a harm reducation focused school drug education trail. BMC Public Health,12(1).

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Title Drug education in victorian schools (DEVS): the study protocol for a harm reducation focused school drug education trail
Author Midford, Richard
Cahill, Helen
Foxcroft David
Lester, Leanne
Venning, Lynne
Ramsden, Robyn
Pose, Michelle
Journal Name BMC Public Health
Publication Date 2012
Volume Number 12
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1471-2458   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Total Pages 7
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
Abstract Background:
This study seeks to extend earlier Australian school drug education research by developing and
measuring the effectiveness of a comprehensive, evidence-based, harm reduction focused school drug education
program for junior secondary students aged 13 to 15 years. The intervention draws on the recent literature as to
the common elements in effective school curriculum. It seeks to incorporate the social influence of parents
through home activities. It also emphasises the use of appropriate pedagogy in the delivery of classroom lessons.

A cluster randomised school drug education trial will be conducted with 1746 junior high
school students in 21 Victorian secondary schools over a period of three years. Both the schools and students have
actively consented to participate in the study. The education program comprises ten lessons in year eight (13-14
year olds) and eight in year nine (14-15 year olds) that address issues around the use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis
and other illicit drugs. Control students will receive the drug education normally provided in their schools.
Students will be tested at baseline, at the end of each intervention year and also at the end of year ten. A self
completion questionnaire will be used to collect information on knowledge, patterns and context of use, attitudes
and harms experienced in relation to alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other illicit drug use. Multi-level modelling will
be the method of analysis because it can best accommodate hierarchically structured data. All analyses will be
conducted on an Intent-to-Treat basis. In addition, focus groups will be conducted with teachers and students in
five of the 14 intervention schools, subsequent to delivery of the year eight and nine programs. This will provide
qualitative data about the effectiveness of the lessons and the relevance of the materials.

The benefits of this drug education study derive both from the knowledge gained by trialling an
optimum combination of innovative, harm reduction approaches with a large, student sample, and the resultant
product. The research will provide better understanding of what benefits can be achieved by harm reduction
education. It will also produce an intervention, dealing with both licit and illicit drug use that has been thoroughly
evaluated in terms of its efficacy, and informed by teacher and student feedback. This makes available to schools a
comprehensive drug education package with prevention characteristics and useability that are well understood.

Trial registration:
Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR): ACTRN12612000079842
Keywords Prevention
Drug education
Harm reducation
DOI   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 4.0 License

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Created: Tue, 26 Apr 2016, 14:53:56 CST by Marion Farram