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RTI to Evaluate Effectiveness of Opioid Public Awareness Campaigns in Colorado

RTI International recently won work to evaluate Opioid Public Awareness Campaigns in Colorado to determine whether these campaigns are positively impacting public health behavior and to identify ways to improve their effectiveness. Under this contract led by RTI expert Erik Crankshaw, PhD, RTI will partner with the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention to evaluate the organization’s communication campaigns and conduct formative research to inform future campaign efforts to reduce prescription drug misuse and abuse in Colorado. 

“Although the Colorado Consortium has been conducting prescription drug abuse prevention campaigns for several years, this contract marks the first time they have worked with an external evaluator or conducted a formal formative evaluation,” Dr. Crankshaw said. 

In the first year of the contract, RTI will conduct a review of current campaign strategy and materials, key stakeholder interviews, two rounds of virtual focus groups, and an online survey to assess campaign awareness and receptivity and identify areas for improvement and future campaign development.

This work builds on RTI’s 20+ years of experience evaluating key public health media campaigns and will benefit from our methodological approaches to both formative and outcome media campaign evaluation. RTI has conducted similar campaign evaluations on the federal level, supporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and on the county-level, supporting the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.

“State and local agencies are increasingly considering media campaigns as an intervention to address the opioid epidemic,” said Dr. Crankshaw. “It’s critical that we understand whether these strategies are effective and help determine where they should go next based on the evolving crisis.”