The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4008.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - Board 3

Abstract #45335

Evaluating the effectiveness and feasibility of a fourth and fifth grade Internet smoking prevention program

H Liesel Copeland, PHD, Health Education and Behavioral Science, UMDNJ SPH, 200 Second Ave, Piscataway, NJ 08854, Heidi Gdovin, BS, Department of Patient Education, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Ave A-15, Cleveland, OH 44195, 216-444-3283, lieselc@hotmail.com, and Ellen Rome, MD, MPH, Department of Pediatrics, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Ave A-120, Cleveland, OH 44195.

Introduction: Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and the majority of smokers start before the age of eighteen. Many of the published prevention programs have been targeted to middle or high-school students, yet to be more effective prevention should start earlier. With the many pressures on school curriculum, itís difficult to find the time and resources for implementation of a program and dissemination can be difficult. One potential solution is a full curriculum delivered using the Internet, which could reduce the need for training of teachers and increase the cost-effective dissemination of the program. Our study aimed to evaluate an Internet version of a fourth and fifth grade smoking prevention curriculum. Methodology: The curriculum was piloted in two grades in four schools. Data was collected through observations, an interview, and pre-post confidential questionnaire of students in intervention and comparison schools. Results: In the 2000 academic year, 401 fourth and fifth grade students in two schools were taught the curriculum. From the verbal responses of students at the end and during each Internet lesson, the observers verified that students enjoyed the lessons. The teacher who piloted implementation reported that the program was very feasible for her to implement. Students who participated in the prevention program (both traditional and Internet) statistically significantly improved across the year in goal setting and health knowledge, while comparison students did not. Conclusion: The Internet curriculum has potential to be as effective as a traditional curriculum and more easily disseminated.

Learning Objectives: After participating in this presentation the learner should be able to

Keywords: Smoking, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Media Issues in Tobacco Control, Cessation and Prevention Poster Session

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA