Project BART: Effectiveness of a Behavioral Intervention to Reduce HIV Risk in Adolescents

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Health Professions


Purpose: To examine the effectiveness of Project BART (Becoming a Responsible Teen, [St. Lawrence, 1998]), a behavioral-based curriculum for adolescents at risk for developing HIV. The purpose of BART was to help adolescents acquire the skills needed to reduce risks, thus encouraging them to make safe, healthy choices concerning sexual behaviors.

Methods: This was a one-group, pre-and post-test intervention study with 105 adolescents (ages 12 to 18) of culturally diverse backgrounds.

Results: Results of the main effects varied. Significant differences were found between pre-and posttest means of the scores on the HIV Attitudes (P = 0.018) and between the means of the AIDS Risk Knowledge Test (P = 0.001), but no significant difference was found between the pre-and posttest means of two other questionnaires: the Condom Attitude Scale (CAS) and Risk Behavior Survey. Process evaluation of the program indicated positive reactions toward the content and presentation methods of the program.

Clinical Implications : The need for programs to which adolescents’ have positive reactions is vital to community-based participation by teens. Nurses can implement this comprehensive, theory-based program in community settings. Implementation should include a modification of the instruments for better clarity and more one-on-one instruction/attention during data collection. More research with clarified instruments and facilitated data collection is needed to further substantiate the effectiveness of Project BART with adolescents.

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MCN The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing





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