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Study protocol for a group-based motivational interviewing brief intervention to reduce substance use and sexual risk behavior among young adults experiencing homelessness

Authors
  • Tucker, Joan S.1
  • D’Amico, Elizabeth J.1
  • Pedersen, Eric R.1, 2
  • Rodriguez, Anthony3
  • Garvey, Rick1
  • 1 RAND Corporation, 1776 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA, 90407-2138, United States , Santa Monica (United States)
  • 2 University of Southern California, 250 Alcazar Street, Suite 2200, Los Angeles, CA, 90033, United States , Los Angeles (United States)
  • 3 RAND Corporation, 20 Park Plaza, Suite 920, Boston, MA, 02116, United States , Boston (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Addiction Science & Clinical Practice
Publisher
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Jul 28, 2020
Volume
15
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s13722-020-00201-x
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

BackgroundYoung people experiencing homelessness have alarmingly high rates of alcohol and other drug (AOD) use, which is associated with sexual risk behaviors such as unprotected sex, trading sex, and sex with multiple casual partners. Few risk reduction programs for this population have been developed and rigorously evaluated, particularly those that address both of these interrelated behaviors, use a collaborative and non-judgmental approach, and are feasible to deliver in settings where homeless young people seek services. This paper describes the protocol of a study evaluating a four-session Motivational Interviewing (MI)-based group risk reduction intervention for this population. The protocol has been shown to be efficacious in pilot work over 3 months with 200 homeless young adults [1]. The current study seeks to refine the intervention protocol and evaluate the program on a larger scale.Methods/designIn a cluster-cross-over randomized controlled trial, 18–25 year olds will receive the AWARE risk reduction program (n = 200) or standard care (n = 200) at one of three drop-in centers serving homeless youth in the Los Angeles area. We will evaluate intervention effects on primary outcomes of AOD use and sexual risk behavior, as well as secondary outcomes of health-related quality of life and social stability, over a 12-month period.DiscussionThis project has the potential to fill a significant gap in prevention services by demonstrating that a brief intervention, feasible to deliver within settings where young people experiencing homelessness typically seeks services, can significantly reduce the interrelated problems of AOD use and sexual risk behavior.Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03735784. Registered November 18, 2018, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/record/NCT03735784 (retrospectively registered)

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