Using CAI to Enhance Drug Tx Staff HCV Knowledge and Communication Skills

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43DA023722-01
Agency Tracking Number: DA023722
Amount: $99,864.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
DUNS: 927851295
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (212) 845-4400
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): To more efficiently meet the need and demand for hepatitis C virus (HCV) information and health communication skills among thousands of addiction counselors throughout the US, this project aims to adapt an effective, accredited, trainer-delivered HCV training ("STOP HEP C training") for addiction counselors into an interactive, tailored, self-paced, easily accessible, accredited, web-based computer-assisted instruction (CAI) program. Addiction counselors sorely need this information and these skills in view of the fact that of the 4 million HCV-infected people in the US (4 times as many as HIV!), the majority are former or current drug users who often lack critically needed medical support in their communities. As a consequence, when they enter drug treatment programs, most drug users are uneducated about HCV transmission and the potential dire consequences if HCV-infected, and addiction counselors are optimally situated to support their clients' HCV related needs. While the NIDA-funded STOP HEP C training was developed and found to be effective in increasing counselors' HCV knowledge and health communication with clients, the demand for the STOP HEP C training far exceeds the capacity to deliver it in a trainer-facilitated format. The CAI program offers an optimal way to disseminate this critically needed, evidence-based, and theoretically grounded training that retains its advantages and addresses its limitations in the current format. Thus, during Phase I, this project proposes to: 1) adapt 2 of the STOP HEP C training modules into a CAI script; 2) convene an Expert Advisory Panel that will evaluate the CAI script; 3) develop a self-directed prototype of the 2 modules: an introductory module with limited interactivity and an advanced highly interactive module; and 4) through qualitative and quantitative data analyses, assess the learning effectiveness of the prototypes with a sample of potential consumers. This CAI will be superior to other currently available HCV trainings as it will provide information on health communication strategies; enable counselors to obtain counseling certification credits; be easily accessible, cost-effective, and self-paced; provide tailored information reflecting the treatment modality in which individual counselors work; and increase comprehension and retention of the material due to the interactive presentation of the information. In Phase II, the remaining modules will be developed, and the complete CAI will be evaluated by comparing and contrasting the learning of counselors who are randomly assigned to either the trainer-facilitated training or the CAI program. The commercialization of the completed CAI will benefit from the secured support of regional and national associations serving addiction counselors, and businesses that have expertise in marketing health provider trainings and CAI products. In addition to sending product brochures to the extensive mailing lists of these businesses and associations, and placing advertisements on their websites with high exposure, we will market the CAI by demonstrating it at the national addiction provider conferences.

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

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