Sustainability of intervention effects of an evidence-based HIV prevention intervention for African American women who smoke crack cocaine
HIV prevention intervention efficacy is often assessed in the short term. Thus, we conducted a long-term (mean 4.4 years) follow-up of a woman-focused HIV intervention for African American crack smokers, for which we had previously observed beneficial short-term gains.
455 out-of-treatment African American women in central North Carolina participated in a randomized field experiment and were followed up to determine sustainability of intervention effects across three conditions: the woman-focused intervention, a modified NIDA intervention, and a delayed-treatment control condition. We compared these groups in terms of HIV risk behavior at short-term follow-up (STFU; 3–6 months) and long-term follow-up (LTFU; average 4 years).
The analyses revealed two distinct groups at STFU: women who either eliminated or greatly reduced their risk behaviors (low-risk class) and women who retained high levels of risk across multiple risk domains (high-risk class). At STFU, women in the woman-focused intervention were more likely to be in the low HIV risk group than the women in control conditions, but this effect was not statistically significant at LTFU. However, low-risk participants at STFU were less likely to be retained at LTFU, and this retention rate was lowest among women in the woman-focused intervention.
Short-term intervention effects were not observed over 4 years later, possibly due to differential retention across conditions. The retention of the highest risk women presents an opportunity to extend intervention effects through booster sessions for these women.
Wechsberg, W., Novak, S., Zule, W., Browne, F., Kral, A., Ellerson, R., & Kline, T. (2010). Sustainability of intervention effects of an evidence-based HIV prevention intervention for African American women who smoke crack cocaine. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 109(1-3), 205-212. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.01.014