Online Program

Mapit: Development and testing of a web-based intervention targeting substance abuse treatment in the criminal justice system

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Scott T. Walters, PhD, School of Public Health, Department of Health Behaviors and Health Systems, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX
Faye S. Taxman, PhD, Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Jennifer Lerch, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Mayra Rodriguez, PhD, MPH, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX
Matthew Rossheim, MPH, CPH, Department of Behavioral and Community Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX
Although drug and alcohol treatment are common mandates in the U.S. criminal justice system, only a minority of clients actually initiate treatment. We describe the development and pilot testing of a two-session, computer-based intervention to increase motivation for substance abuse treatment among clients with court-ordered treatment requirements. MAPIT (Motivational Assessment Program to Initiate Treatment) draws from motivational interviewing, the Extended Parallel Process Model, and Social Cognitive Theory. The first session (completed near the start of probation) targets motivation to complete probation, to make changes in substance use (including treatment initiation), and to obtain HIV testing and care. The second session (completed approximately 30 days after session 1) focuses on goal setting, coping strategies, and social support. Both sessions include an automated reminder feature, where clients can generate emails or mobile texts to remind them of their goals. We also describe how the program is able to provide personal responses and suggestions using theory-based algorithms and a text-to-speech engine. In a pilot testing phase, 25 clients rated the program for useability and usefulness. Overall, participants responded favorably regarding the accuracy, ease of use, and perceived usefulness of the program. Participants reported that the most interesting parts of the intervention were the customized substance use and risk summaries, and the tools presented to motivate and make changes. MAPIT is currently being tested in a randomized trial in two large U.S. probation agencies.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify three barriers that most often prevent people in the criminal justice system from initiating alcohol and drug treatment. Describe how a web-based program might be used to increase motivation around initiating and engaging in alcohol and drug treatment.

Keyword(s): Criminal Justice, Drug Abuse Treatment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD at the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health. I have been principle or co-investigator on several federally funded trials of treatment for substance abuse and other problem behaviors.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.