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The Multimedia HIV/STI Prevention for Drug-Involved Female Offenders (Project WORTH)

This study has been completed.
Center for Court Innovation
Bronx Community Solutions
New York City Department of Probation
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Nabila El-Bassel, PhD, Columbia University Identifier:
First received: February 4, 2013
Last updated: February 25, 2014
Last verified: February 2014
The proposed study addresses a significant public health threat of Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among drug involved women on probation, parole or other community supervision. This randomized controlled trial aims to test the efficacy of a multimedia version of a 4-session, gender-specific, integrated drug use and HIV/STI prevention intervention (Multimedia Women On the Road To Health (WORTH)) in increasing condom use and decreasing the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among 420 drug-involved, female offenders in a large community court setting in New York City, compared to a non-media version of the same intervention (Traditional WORTH) and to a 4-session Wellness Promotion condition.

Condition Intervention Phase
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Behavioral: Multimedia WORTH
Behavioral: Traditional WORTH
Behavioral: Wellness Promotion
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Multimedia HIV/STI Prevention for Drug-Involved Female Offenders

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Columbia University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • The proportion of condom protected acts of vaginal and anal intercourse [ Time Frame: Up to 12 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Cumulative incidence of biologically confirmed STIs (Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Trichomoniasis) [ Time Frame: Up to 12 months ]

Enrollment: 306
Study Start Date: November 2009
Study Completion Date: March 2013
Primary Completion Date: March 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Multimedia HIV/STI prevention
Multimedia WORTH is a 4-session group based gender specific HIV and drug abuse prevention intervention.
Behavioral: Multimedia WORTH

The Multimedia WORTH intervention features the same core elements as the original version, but these core elements are translated into interactive tools and culturally tailored video vignettes designed to enhance group learning and individualized feedback. Participants will interact with Multimedia WORTH at two levels: (1) group materials will be delivered via computer projection onto a screen and (2) participants will complete individual activities and create journal logs tracking their progress on personalized goals on their personal user accounts using laptop computers. The computer multimedia support tool includes text, imagery, animations, audio and video in a format that guide the facilitator's delivery of the intervention. ***To view pilot features of the Multimedia WORTH intervention in development, please visit the following web address:

Active Comparator: Traditional HIV/STI prevention
Traditional WORTH is a 4-session group-based HIV/STI and drug abuse prevention intervention that covers the same content as Multimedia WORTH without the use of interactive videos, computerized assessments, and other audiovisual tools.
Behavioral: Traditional WORTH
The basic format of each WORTH session remains consistent following a sequence of 5 steps: (1) an opening (quote, song, poem) which will provide a brief culturally relevant point of inspiration to engage participants (2) Check-in to review material from the previous session, and to discuss any incidents where participants engaged in risk behaviors and to acknowledge positive ways in which women used new skills to avoid HIV risk; (3) a discussion to raise awareness of links between IPV, drug-related activities, and HIV risks; (4) a skills-building component relevant to the discussion; and (5) review and update participant needs, homework assigned for skills-building at home, and a closing ritual. The WORTH intervention consists of four 2-hour group sessions that are led by a female facilitator.
Placebo Comparator: Wellness Promotion
Wellness Promotion is a 4-session group based intervention that aims to improve diet, physical fitness and well-being which is designed as an attentional control condition.
Behavioral: Wellness Promotion

Detailed Description:
While it is clear that women inmates in jails and prisons bear a high burden of Human immunodeficiency virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), the effective development of prevention interventions for this high-risk group require an understanding of HIV risk context, sexual behaviors and attitudes for women while they are still in the community and before they become heavily involved in the criminal justice system. HIV prevention interventions must focus on women at early points of entry into the criminal justice system, when they are still in the community and at higher risk of engaging in unsafe sex and drug behaviors. This study focuses on a population of drug-involved women who have been arrested and given a court sanction, but are still living in the community.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • She is 18 or older.
  • She is currently supervised by a criminal justice entity, such as a community court or probation.
  • She reports engaging in unprotected vaginal or anal sex with a male partner in the past 90 days
  • She reports any illicit drug use or binge drinking in the past 6 months.

Exclusion Criteria:In addition, potential participants will be ineligible if any of the following criteria are met:

  • Ability to speak and understand English is not sufficient to participate in assessments or intervention sessions.
  • The woman's sexual activity is limited to a monogamous relationship lasting more than 12 months, and she has not engaged in any of the additional HIV risk behaviors in the past 90 days:

    • Having sex with more than one partner
    • Having sex with a partner known or suspected to be HIV positive or an injection drug user (IDU)
    • Sharing injection drug use needles or equipment
  • The woman is actively trying to get pregnant/have a baby.
  • Inability to complete informed consent process due to a psychiatric or cognitive impairment.
  • The participant was born male.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01784809

United States, New York
Columbia University School of Social Work
New York, New York, United States, 10027
Sponsors and Collaborators
Columbia University
Center for Court Innovation
Bronx Community Solutions
New York City Department of Probation
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Principal Investigator: Nabila El-Bassel, Ph.D. Columbia University
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Nabila El-Bassel, PhD, Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work, Columbia University Identifier: NCT01784809     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: AAAD5608
R01DA025878 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: February 4, 2013
Last Updated: February 25, 2014

Keywords provided by Columbia University:
Condom Use
Criminal Justice
Drug Use

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Virus Diseases
Genital Diseases, Male
Genital Diseases, Female processed this record on April 28, 2017