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App-Based Addiction Prevention at German Vocational Schools: Implementation and Reach for a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial


Guertler, Diana; Bläsing, Dominic; Moehring, Anne; Meyer, Christian; Brandt, Dominique; Schmidt, Hannah; Rehbein, Florian; Neumann, Merten; Dreißigacker, Arne; Bischof, Anja; Bischof, Gallus; Sürig, Svenja; Hohls, Lisa; Hagspiel, Maximilian; Wurm, Susanne; Haug, Severin; Rumpf, Hans-Jürgen (2024). App-Based Addiction Prevention at German Vocational Schools: Implementation and Reach for a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial. Prevention Science:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

This article examines the implementation, participation rates, and potential determinants of participation in the digital addiction prevention program “ready4life.” A two-arm cluster-randomized trial recruited German vocational students via class-based strategies. Intervention group received 16 weeks of in-app coaching; the control group received health behavior information, with coaching offered after 12 months. Potential determinants of participation were analyzed based on class and individual characteristics. Out of 525 contacted schools, 35 participated, enrolling 376 classes. Implementation during the pandemic required flexible adjustments, with 49.7% of introductions conducted in person, 43.1% digitally via online streaming, and 7.2% received a video link via email. Despite challenges, 72.3% of the vocational students downloaded the app, and 46.7% gave informed consent. Participation rates were highest among (associate) professionals, vocational grammar school classes, classes introduced by females, younger individuals, members of the project team, and classes introduced face-to-face. Female gender, lower social competencies, lifetime cannabis use, higher problematic internet use, and higher perceived stress were associated with higher individual participation. The study highlights the importance of proactive outreach and personalized interventions for addiction prevention programs in vocational schools. While reached students aligned with the aims of the app, tailored recruitment strategies could enhance engagement among under-represented groups.

Abstract

This article examines the implementation, participation rates, and potential determinants of participation in the digital addiction prevention program “ready4life.” A two-arm cluster-randomized trial recruited German vocational students via class-based strategies. Intervention group received 16 weeks of in-app coaching; the control group received health behavior information, with coaching offered after 12 months. Potential determinants of participation were analyzed based on class and individual characteristics. Out of 525 contacted schools, 35 participated, enrolling 376 classes. Implementation during the pandemic required flexible adjustments, with 49.7% of introductions conducted in person, 43.1% digitally via online streaming, and 7.2% received a video link via email. Despite challenges, 72.3% of the vocational students downloaded the app, and 46.7% gave informed consent. Participation rates were highest among (associate) professionals, vocational grammar school classes, classes introduced by females, younger individuals, members of the project team, and classes introduced face-to-face. Female gender, lower social competencies, lifetime cannabis use, higher problematic internet use, and higher perceived stress were associated with higher individual participation. The study highlights the importance of proactive outreach and personalized interventions for addiction prevention programs in vocational schools. While reached students aligned with the aims of the app, tailored recruitment strategies could enhance engagement among under-represented groups.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Addiction; Mobile app; Prevention; Reach; Vocational student
Language:English
Date:3 July 2024
Deposited On:09 Jul 2024 07:37
Last Modified:09 Jul 2024 07:37
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1389-4986
Additional Information:The trial was registered in the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS): DRKS00022328; registration date 09.10.2020.
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-024-01702-w
PubMed ID:38958917
Project Information:
  • : FunderUniversitätsmedizin Greifswald
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)