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Intervention Summary

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PRIME For Life

PRIME For Life (PFL) is a motivational intervention used in group settings to prevent alcohol and drug problems or provide early intervention. PFL has been used primarily among court-referred impaired driving offenders, as in the two studies reviewed for this summary. It also has been adapted for use with military personnel, college students, middle and high school students, and parents. Different versions of the program, ranging from 4.5 to 20 hours in duration, and optional activities are available to guide use with various populations.

Based on the Lifestyle Risk Reduction Model, the Transtheoretical Model, and persuasion theory, PFL emphasizes changing participants' perceptions of the risks of drug and alcohol use and related attitudes and beliefs. Risk perception is altered through the carefully timed presentation of both logical reasoning and emotional experience. Instructors use empathy and collaboration (methods consistent with motivational interviewing) to increase participants' motivation to change behavior to protect what they value most in life. Participants are guided in self-assessing their level of progression toward or into dependence or addiction. PFL also assists participants in developing a detailed plan for successfully following through with behavior change. Multimedia presentations and extensive guided discussion help motivate participants to reduce their substance use or maintain low-risk choices. Individual and group activities are completed using participant workbooks.

Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Substance abuse prevention
Outcomes Review Date: November 2009
1: Perceived risk for alcoholism or addiction
2: Intention to drink or use drugs
3: Self-assessment of alcohol- or drug-related problems
4: Recidivism
Outcome Categories Alcohol
Crime/delinquency
Drugs
Ages 18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
Genders Male
Female
Races/Ethnicities Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
White
Race/ethnicity unspecified
Settings Other community settings
Geographic Locations Suburban
Implementation History PFL was first implemented in 1983. Since then, it has been delivered in approximately 1,500 sites in 48 States to approximately 2 million participants. The program is being implemented by the U.S. Army with American soldiers worldwide and is used in 13 States systemwide for convicted impaired drivers or youth policy violators. The program has been used in Sweden with the Swedish military, in parole and probation programs, and in high schools; it has been used less extensively in Cyprus. About 80 program evaluations have been conducted as of March 2010.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: No
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: Yes
Adaptations Instructor materials and participant workbooks have been adapted for use with adolescents as well as with Cypriot and Swedish cultures. Materials have been translated into Greek, Spanish, and Swedish.
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Universal
Selective
Indicated

Quality of Research
Review Date: November 2009

Documents Reviewed

The documents below were reviewed for Quality of Research. The research point of contact can provide information regarding the studies reviewed and the availability of additional materials, including those from more recent studies that may have been conducted.

Study 1

Beadnell, B., Nason, M., & Rosengren, D. B. (2009). Comparative impact of PRIME For Life in North Carolina: 2007-2009. Manuscript in preparation.

Study 2

Lowenkamp, C. T., Latessa, E., & Bechtel, K. (2007). A statewide, multisite, outcome evaluation of Indiana's Alcohol and Drug Programs. University of Cincinnati, Division of Criminal Justice, Center for Criminal Justice Research. Submitted to the Indiana State Judicial Center, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Supplementary Materials

Engen, H., Richards, C., & Patterson, A. M. (1995). An evaluation of the State of Iowa's Drunk Driver Education Curriculum: Final report. Submitted to the Iowa Department of Education by the Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation, Des Moines, Iowa.

Kallina-Knighton, W. (2002). Effectiveness of an intervention program for DUI (driving under the influence) offenders (Doctoral dissertation, Auburn University, 2002). Dissertation Abstracts International, 63(6-A), 2151.

Prevention Research Institute. (2008). Researching the impact of PRIME For Life in your community. Lexington, KY: Author.

Supplementary Documentation for Study 1 and Study 2

Outcomes

Outcome 1: Perceived risk for alcoholism or addiction
Description of Measures Perceived risk for alcoholism or addiction was assessed using two scales based on items included in a self-administered questionnaire developed for the study. The "tolerance is protective" scale was derived from the mean of two items: "High tolerance protects people from having problems with alcohol" and "People who handle alcohol are less likely to develop alcoholism." The "risk for addiction" scale was derived from the mean of four items: "I could become an alcoholic," "If I drink as much as I have in the past, I could develop alcoholism," "If I use drugs as much as I have in the past, I could become addicted," and "I should drink less." The response categories for these items were 1 (strongly agree), 2 (agree), 3 (uncertain), 4 (disagree), and 5 (strongly disagree).
Key Findings Participants in the study were individuals who had been referred to a State-mandated alcohol and drug education program following involvement in drug-related offenses such as driving while intoxicated (DWI), underage drinking, or drug possession. The majority were individuals who had received their first DWI conviction and were required to complete a program as a condition of driver's license reinstatement. Participants were assigned to the PFL program or to a comparison group that received a standard intervention about general topic areas and guidelines related to DWI. PFL participants had significantly greater decreases in scores on both scales, indicating greater improvement in the accuracy of their risk estimation (p values < .001). Effect sizes were small for both the "tolerance is protective" scale (eta-squared = 0.036) and the "risk for addiction" scale (eta-squared = 0.040).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.3 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 2: Intention to drink or use drugs
Description of Measures Intention to drink or use drugs was assessed using one item from a self-administered questionnaire developed for the study: "This class helped me decide to drink less or use drugs less." Response categories were 1 (strongly agree), 2 (agree), 3 (uncertain), 4 (disagree), and 5 (strongly disagree).
Key Findings Participants in the study were individuals who had been referred to a State-mandated alcohol and drug education program following involvement in drug-related offenses such as DWI, underage drinking, or drug possession. The majority were individuals who had received their first DWI conviction and were required to complete a program as a condition of driver's license reinstatement. Participants were assigned to the PFL program or to a comparison group that received a standard intervention about general topic areas and guidelines related to DWI. This study found that compared with participants receiving the standard intervention, significantly more PFL participants indicated an intention to drink less or use drugs less after the intervention (p = .05). This result was associated with a small effect size (eta-squared = 0.016).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.3 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 3: Self-assessment of alcohol- or drug-related problems
Description of Measures The percentage of participants self-assessing with alcohol- or drug-related problems was measured at pretest and posttest using two items from a self-administered questionnaire developed for the study: "Have you ever had an alcohol or drug-related problem?" and "I have alcoholism or drug addiction." Response categories were "yes," "no," and "unsure."
Key Findings Participants in the study were individuals who had been referred to a State-mandated alcohol and drug education program following involvement in drug-related offenses such as DWI, underage drinking, or drug possession. The majority were individuals who had received their first DWI conviction and were required to complete a program as a condition of driver's license reinstatement. Participants were assigned to the PFL program or to a comparison group that received a standard intervention about general topic areas and guidelines related to DWI.

This study found that self-identification of drug or alcohol problems increased more among PFL participants than among participants receiving the standard intervention. For the retrospective item, 10% of both groups responded at pretest that they had ever had an alcohol- or drug-related problem. In comparison, at posttest, 14% of the PFL group and 7% of the comparison group indicated they had ever had an alcohol- or drug-related problem (p = .007). For the item asking about current alcoholism or drug addiction, 2% of the PFL group and 4% of the comparison group responded "yes" at pretest (p = .21), compared with 4% of the PFL group and 0% of the comparison group at posttest (p = .05).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.3 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 4: Recidivism
Description of Measures Recidivism was assessed by examining 1-year rearrest rates. The analyses included any arrest, misdemeanor, felony, or incarceration indicated in court records during the year after discharge from the program or completion of probation.
Key Findings In a statewide evaluation study, data on individuals who had participated in PFL following an impaired driving conviction were compared with data on probationers who participated in a court-designated alcohol or drug program other than PFL following a substance use-related offense. This study found that PFL participants had a significantly lower 1-year rearrest rate relative to the comparison group (p < .05). Eighty-one percent of the PFL group was not rearrested within 1 year after the discharge date, while 71% of the comparison group was not rearrested within 1 year following completion of probation.
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 2
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 3.2 (0.0-4.0 scale)

Study Populations

The following populations were identified in the studies reviewed for Quality of Research.

Study Age Gender Race/Ethnicity
Study 1 18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
62% Male
38% Female
86% White
7% Race/ethnicity unspecified
5% Black or African American
2% Hispanic or Latino
Study 2 18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
80% Male
20% Female
82% White
18% Race/ethnicity unspecified

Quality of Research Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the Quality of Research for an intervention's reported results using six criteria:

  1. Reliability of measures
  2. Validity of measures
  3. Intervention fidelity
  4. Missing data and attrition
  5. Potential confounding variables
  6. Appropriateness of analysis

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Quality of Research.

Outcome Reliability
of Measures
Validity
of Measures
Fidelity Missing
Data/Attrition
Confounding
Variables
Data
Analysis
Overall
Rating
1: Perceived risk for alcoholism or addiction 4.0 3.5 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.5 3.3
2: Intention to drink or use drugs 4.0 3.5 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.5 3.3
3: Self-assessment of alcohol- or drug-related problems 4.0 3.5 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.5 3.3
4: Recidivism 3.5 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.5 3.2

Study Strengths

Measures of reliability and validity were good, based on face validation and confirmation by factor analyses. Intervention fidelity was supported by the use of a manual, the structured nature of the program, and provision of training. Missing data were minimal in both studies and where present were adequately addressed with statistical measures. Data analyses used were appropriate for the outcomes set by the studies.

Study Weaknesses

No evidence was presented for either study that instructors were observed on a scheduled basis, which is a concern for intervention fidelity. The attrition level of 21% at posttest in one study is a concern. The effects of some confounding variables were not adequately addressed (e.g., between-group differences at baseline, variability of DWI-related charges for the recidivism outcome).

Readiness for Dissemination
Review Date: November 2009

Materials Reviewed

The materials below were reviewed for Readiness for Dissemination. The implementation point of contact can provide information regarding implementation of the intervention and the availability of additional, updated, or new materials.

Daugherty, R., & O'Bryan, T. (2004). PRIME For Life instructor workbook (version 8.0). Lexington, KY: Prevention Research Institute.

Daugherty, R., & O'Bryan, T. (2004). PRIME For Life participant workbook (version 8.0). Lexington, KY: Prevention Research Institute.

Daugherty, R., & O'Bryan, T. (2004). PRIME For Life video resources (version 8.0). Lexington, KY: Prevention Research Institute.

Daugherty, R., & O'Bryan, T. (n.d.). PRIME For Life instructor manual (version 8.0). Lexington, KY: Prevention Research Institute.

Prevention Research Institute. (2006). Content quick view. Lexington, KY: Author.

Prevention Research Institute. (2006). PRIME For Life moving forward manual. Lexington, KY: Author.

Prevention Research Institute. (2006). PRIME For Life pre/post tests and pre/post test instructor keys. Lexington, KY: Author.

Prevention Research Institute. (2008). My development plan. Lexington, KY: Author.

Prevention Research Institute. (2008). PRIME For Life domain quick view (version 1). Lexington, KY: Author.

Prevention Research Institute. (2008). PRIME For Life new instructor training week handbook. Lexington, KY: Author.

Prevention Research Institute. (2008). Researching the impact of PRIME For Life in your community. Lexington, KY: Author.

Prevention Research Institute. (2009). PRIME For Life 2009 schedule: Georgia Risk Reduction Program continuing education. Lexington, KY: Author.

Prevention Research Institute. (2009). PRIME For Life 2009 schedule: New instructor training and continuing education. Lexington, KY: Author.

Prevention Research Institute. (2009). PRIME For Life 2009 trainer manual. Lexington, KY: Author.

Prevention Research Institute. (n.d.). PRIME For Life continuing education handbook. Lexington, KY: Author.

Prevention Research Institute. (n.d.). PRIME For Life instructor training DVD. Lexington, KY: Author.

PRIME For Life: Moving Forward in 2008! (PowerPoint presentation)

PRIME For Life Participant Evaluation

PRIME For Life Sessions at a Glance

PRIME For Life Web site, http://www.primeforlife.org

Support Provided to PRIME For Life Instructors

Readiness for Dissemination Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the intervention's Readiness for Dissemination using three criteria:

  1. Availability of implementation materials
  2. Availability of training and support resources
  3. Availability of quality assurance procedures

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Readiness for Dissemination.

Implementation
Materials
Training and Support
Resources
Quality Assurance
Procedures
Overall
Rating
3.5 4.0 4.0 3.8

Dissemination Strengths

A comprehensive array of print, media, and electronic materials are easily accessible from the program Web site. Manuals are attractive, thorough, and well organized and clearly differentiate content intended for adult participants from that intended for adolescents. After an initial, intensive 4-day training, trainees can select from a variety of ongoing training opportunities and conferences. Information about training is readily available in print materials and on the Web site. The Web site provides a password-protected section for instructors that includes useful tools and resources for implementation. Ongoing technical assistance and follow-up support is offered. The developer has established clear standards for program delivery and offers a wide variety of options for assessing and ensuring that these standards are met.

Dissemination Weaknesses

Although direct consultation is available for systemwide implementation, the materials do not specifically provide guidance for administrators or others responsible for program planning and development on how to integrate this intervention into the organization.

Costs

The cost information below was provided by the developer. Although this cost information may have been updated by the developer since the time of review, it may not reflect the current costs or availability of items (including newly developed or discontinued items). The implementation point of contact can provide current information and discuss implementation requirements.

Item Description Cost Required by Developer
Participant workbooks $7.50-$30 each Yes
4-day, off-site training; can be provided on site for 15 or more trainees Varies depending on location of training Yes
1- to 2-day Annual Continuing Education Conference Free No
Ongoing support and technical assistance via toll-free phone, email, or online Free No
Feedback to instructors on skills Free No
Moving ForWarD Instrument for adherence measurement Free No

Additional Information

PFL is primarily delivered within State systems that have adopted the program as the sole or main curriculum for convicted impaired drivers or other court-referred clients. In these States, in most cases, the only fee to implement the program is the cost of participant workbooks; one copy is required for each participant. Workbook fees are negotiated between the developer and the State system, taking into account additional services provided and system size.

Replications

Selected citations are presented below. An asterisk indicates that the document was reviewed for Quality of Research.

Bruce, S. (2004). Evaluation of University of Virginia's Choices Alcohol Education Program utilizing PRIME For Life: 2003-04. University of Virginia's Center for Alcohol and Substance Education; Charlottesville, VA. Available at http://www.primeforlife.org/assets/UVirginia-2003-04Summary.pdf

Johnson, C. (1997). OCTAA (On Campus Talking About Alcohol) Program, 1997 evaluation report. Health and Sport Science Department, URWell Program, University of Richmond. Summary of report available at http://www.primeforlife.org/assets/URichmondSummary.pdf

Marsteller, F. A., Rolka, D., & Falek, A. (1997). Emory University evaluation of the Georgia DUI Alcohol/Drug Risk Reduction Program: Fiscal years 1992-1996, summary final report. Submitted to the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Licensure and Certification Unit, Atlanta, Georgia. Available at http://www.primeforlife.org/assets/GeorgiaFinalReport.pdf

Contact Information

To learn more about implementation, contact:
Ejna Mitchell
(800) 922-9489 ext 332
ejna@askpri.org

To learn more about research, contact:
Mark Nason, M.S.W.
(800) 922-9489 ext 208
mark@askpri.org

Consider these Questions to Ask (PDF, 54KB) as you explore the possible use of this intervention.

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