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Digital Star HIV Prevention for Youth in Mental Health Treatment

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 4R44MH102140-03
Agency Tracking Number: R44MH102140
Amount: $1,798,771.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 105
Solicitation Number: PA11-133
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2011
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-07-31
Small Business Information
2440 LAWRENCEVILLE HWY STE 200
Decatur, GA 30033-3267
United States
DUNS: 010776370
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 MARGO ADAMSLARSEN
 (470) 823-3063
 adamslarsen@virtuallybetter.com
Business Contact
 CATHY BEAM
Phone: (404) 634-3400
Email: beam@virtuallybetter.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Adolescents in mental health treatment are at greater risk for HIV and other STIs than their peers due to an earlier age of onset of sex less protected sex more sexual partners and more frequent substance use This greater risk is due to multiple factors including cognitive misperceptions affect dysregulation and less self efficacy The numerous adolescents who receive mental health treatment do so in a variety of settings such as day hospital programs therapeutic schools and residential centers These programs offer a variety of health services but there is no efficacious HIV prevention program specifically tailored
for the issues of youth in mental health treatment other than the one described in this project STAR andquot Safe Thinking and Affect Regulationandquot is an award winning and efficacious fourteen session group intervention that successfully targets affect regulation and cognitive monitoring in sexual situations as the key novel elements to improve sexual safety This fourteen session group intervention won the Rieger Award for Scientific Achievement from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in It is the first and only intervention to have demonstrated an improvement in safer sexual behavior for youth in mental health treatment a group that is at risk and not otherwise targeted with interventions tailored for their issues The
goal of this SBIR Fast Track project is to transform STAR into an engaging digital multimedia format Digital STAR D STAR for easy and reliable use by care agencies that serve adolescents in mental health treatment To transform this intervention Virtually Better a company with a successful history of production and distribution of cutting edge technological interventions has teamed with the research developers of STAR at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University During the two phases of this Fast Track project digital session development will be accomplished by an iterative process of feedback and refinement between Virtually Better the developers of STAR adolescents in mental health treatment and a Community Advisory Board The created multimedia intervention D STAR will convey relevant information offer realistic skills practice and be engaging and enjoyable A randomized control trial of D STAR compared to a time matched digital general health promotion condition will be conducted among adolescents ages to in mental health treatment to ensure that D STAR is efficacious in improving HIV knowledge and relevant attitudes and increasing safer sexual behavior This project is innovative because D STAR will contain the essential elements of a proven award winning intervention its digital format will allow for reliable and consistent deliverability it will be utilized without the need for extensively trained or highly specialized facilitators and it will use engaging immersive technologies that are maximally appealing to youth Developing this high quality implementation package for easy dissemination is essential to achieving a greater public health impact from this proven HIV prevention intervention for youth in mental health treatment PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE Adolescents in mental health treatment are at greater risk for HIV and other STIs than their peers due to an earlier age of onset of sex less protected sex more sexual partners and more frequent substance use This greater risk is due to multiple factors including cognitive misperceptions affect dysregulation and less self efficacy Efficacious HIV prevention programs exist for a variety of subgroups of adolescents including African American youth homeless youth and those in traditional schools or detention facilities However no other intervention besides STAR is designed and tailored for the unique needs of youth in mental health treatment and no intervention has rigorously analyzed the interventionandapos s longitudinal impact on this group of youth This SBIR project will create Digital STAR D STAR a stand alone computerized efficacious intervention that will be available for utilization by a wid range of mental health agencies and treatment facilities that serve youth with mental health needs

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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