An Interactive Text Messaging Intervention to Improve Drug Court Outcomes

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43DA031490-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43DA031490
Amount: $189,819.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: NIDA
Solicitation Number: PA10-050
Small Business Information
SOCIAL SCIENCES INNOVATIONS CORPORATION
71 W 23RD ST, 8TH FL, NEW YORK, NY, -
DUNS: 927851295
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 HILARY LIBERTY
 (212) 845-4501
 liberty@ndri.org
Business Contact
 LISA BERNHARD
Phone: (212) 845-4567
Email: bernhard@ndri.org
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Drug Courts reflect the cutting edge of new, innovative treatments for substance abuse. A text messaging system integrated as part of the Drug Court's treatment program holds the promise of improving treatment outcomesand has positive market potential. Shorter, less-costly, more effective treatment may be possible with the addition of a telephone texting system of reminders linked to Drug Court treatment objectives. There are currently more than 2,400 Drug Courts in theUnited States, with at least one Drug Court operating in every U.S. state and territory. These Courts have been shown to be effective at reducing drug use and criminal recidivism, and are highly cost effective. Text messaging - the ability to send brief written messages using mobile telephones and related devices - has expanded rapidly since it was first introduced nearly twenty years ago. In the U.S. it is estimated that 182 million users send more than 1.5 trillion text messages annually, and use is growing exponentially. We propose to develop, implement and evaluate the impact of an interactive text messaging intervention to be integrated into a court-mandated treatment program, Brooklyn Treatment Court, NYC. Building on pilot research, 200 participantswill receive three carefully evaluated text messages per day for one month. They must respond to and rate the usefulness of each message. Messages will be selected by two focus groups composed of court staff and consumers; quantitatively evaluated by a third independent group of mixed staff and consumers. The 200 participants will be randomly assigned to one of four groups: 1) standard, recovery oriented messages, 2) avoiding relapse and sanctions, 3) commitment to family, community and the Drug Court program, 4) a combination of messages from groups 2 and 3. Outcomes will consist of: proximal - 90 percent response rate to all messages, and distal - urinalysis, Drug Court daily attendance, absence, treatment length and cost. Both treatment length and cost are dependent on compliance. Shorter, less-costly, more effective treatment is anticipated. The cost of the study is reduced by the fact that all distal outcome data is drawn from the court's standard database. With more than 2,400 Drug Courts nationwide, many closely linked by their common task, this product will have substantial market potential. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Drug Courts reflect the cutting edge of new, innovative treatments for substance abuse. A text messaging system integrated as partof the Drug Court's treatment program holds the promise of improving treatment outcomes and has positive market potential. Shorter, less-costly, more effective treatment may be possible with the addition of a telephone texting system of reminders linked toDrug Court treatment objectives.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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