Program

Sep 12, 2008

OVERVIEW

A brief
computer-delivered intervention was developed to reduce sexual risk taking among
college students. In a random assignment study, college students assigned to
receive the computer-delivered sexual risk reduction intervention were compared
with students assigned to receive a computer-delivered nutrition intervention.
Sexual risk reduction subjects also increased their condom use knowledge and
their frequency of keeping condoms handy to a greater extent than did control
subjects. There were no significant differences between groups on motivation to
use condoms or condom-use behavioral skills, however.

DESCRIPTION
OF PROGRAM

Target
population: 
College students

In line with the
information-motivation-behavioral skills model, this intervention sought to
provide participants with information on HIV, motivate participants to engage in
HIV-preventive measures, and equip participants with the skills necessary to
perform HIV-preventive behaviors. All intervention content was
computer-delivered and was tailored to each individual participant’s skills and
needs.

The first
intervention session provided participants with condom use information, facts
about the advantages of using condoms, and negotiation skills training. The
session also included a computer-directed tutorial on putting on condoms. At
the end of the first session, each participant engaged in a motivational
interview that helped the participant to select an appropriate condom-use goal
and to think through why that goal was important and how it could be achieved.
Condom use goals ranged from “think about a place where you would keep a condom
handy in case you need one” to “use a condom even when you’re drunk,” depending
on the participant’s readiness to change.

The second
intervention session occurred two weeks after the first and gave participants an
opportunity to reflect on their progress towards their condom-use goal.
Participants who had achieved their goal engaged in a “discussion” with the
computer about barriers they might face in maintaining that goal and how they
would overcome those barriers. Participants who had not achieved their goal
were prompted to reflect on how they might achieve that goal in the future.

EVALUATION(S)
OF PROGRAM

Evaluated
population:
A total of 157 college students from the University of Connecticut served
as the study sample for this investigation. The majority (71%) of subjects were
female. 81% were white; 6% were Latino; 5% were African American; and 5% were
Asian American. At baseline, 82% of subjects reported already having had sexual
intercourse.

Approach:
Subjects were randomly assigned to the treatment group or the control group.
Subjects assigned to the treatment group took part in the computer-delivered
sexual risk reduction intervention. Subjects assigned to the control group took
part in a computer-delivered nutrition intervention. All subjects completed
baseline questionnaires before receiving the intervention. Subjects completed
follow-up questionnaires four weeks after completing the initial intervention
session (two weeks after completing the second intervention session).

Results:
Sexual risk reduction subjects also increased their condom use knowledge and
their frequency of keeping condoms handy to a greater extent than did control
subjects. There were no significant differences between groups on motivation to
use condoms or condom-use behavioral skills, however.

SOURCES FOR
MORE INFORMATION

References:

Kiene, S.M. & Barta,
W.D. (2006). A Brief Individualized Computer-Delivered Sexual Risk Reduction
Intervention Increases HIV/AIDS Preventive Behavior. Journal of Adolescent
Health, 30
, 404-410.

KEYWORDS: White/Caucasian, Co-ed, Condom Use and Contraception, Youth, Young Adults,
Computer-based

 

Program
information last updated on 9/12/08.

Subscribe to Child Trends

Short weekly updates of recent research on children and youth.