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Intervention Summary

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Alcohol: True Stories Hosted by Matt Damon

Alcohol: True Stories Hosted by Matt Damon is a multimedia intervention designed to prevent or reduce alcohol use among young people in grades 5-12 by positively changing the attitudes of youth and their parents and other caregivers in regard to youth drinking. The intervention features a 20-minute video, hosted by Matt Damon, which tells the stories of four adolescents' experiences with alcohol; story topics include drinking and driving, lost opportunities, addiction, alcohol-related violence, and the effects of alcohol use on relationships. Through the four stories, the video addresses reasons that motivate young people to drink: to fit in, to ease social interaction, to relieve stress, to have fun, and because they are addicted. The young people profiled describe the consequences of underage drinking and the benefits of waiting to drink alcohol until after reaching legal age, and they offer healthy coping strategies for stressful life events as well as methods to avoid drinking alcohol. The video is accompanied by a discussion guide, which is designed to provoke candid conversation regarding alcohol use and to help young people internalize anti-underage drinking messages and think critically about their own decisionmaking regarding alcohol use.

The intervention can be delivered in two 50-minute sessions or four 25-minute sessions. Each session is dedicated to viewing and discussing each of the four stories. A 1-day training on program implementation is available.

Both studies reviewed for this summary assessed only the video, without the discussion guide. One of the studies reviewed reported results for youth only, and the other study included results for youth and adults.

Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Substance abuse prevention
Outcomes Review Date: July 2011
1: Alcohol-related attitudes
Outcome Categories Alcohol
Ages 6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
Genders Male
Female
Races/Ethnicities Data were not reported/available.
Settings School
Other community settings
Geographic Locations Suburban
Implementation History Since 2002, Alcohol: True Stories Hosted by Matt Damon has been implemented by more than 10,000 middle and high schools and youth, parenting, and substance abuse organizations in all 50 States and in Australia, Canada, CuraƧao, Ecuador, England, and Germany.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: No
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: Yes
Adaptations No population- or culture-specific adaptations of the intervention were identified by the developer.
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Universal

Quality of Research
Review Date: July 2011

Documents Reviewed

The documents below were reviewed for Quality of Research. The research point of contact can provide information regarding the studies reviewed and the availability of additional materials, including those from more recent studies that may have been conducted.

Study 1

Division on Addictions. (2003). Evaluating the promise of an alcohol education program: Alcohol: True Stories. Boston, MA: Harvard Medical School.

Study 2

Division on Addictions. (2003). Evaluating the promise of an alcohol education program: Alcohol: True Stories. Boston, MA: Harvard Medical School.

Outcomes

Outcome 1: Alcohol-related attitudes
Description of Measures Alcohol-related attitudes were assessed using the Alcohol Awareness Survey, which was developed for the studies. Using the self-report survey, participants rated their level of agreement with statements regarding the use of alcohol (e.g., "Experimenting with alcohol is a natural part of the lives of people under age 21," "Drinking alcohol is OK when kids want to have fun"). They also indicated the circumstances when they would consider it acceptable for people under age 21 to drink alcohol (e.g., "It's OK as long as they don't get drunk," "It's OK even if they get drunk," "It's never OK for people under 21 to drink"). Assessments occurred immediately before (pretest) and after (posttest) the intervention.
Key Findings In one study, students and parents were recruited from a suburban Massachusetts community via newspaper advertisements, announcements by public school principals, and direct mail from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention group, which viewed the Alcohol: True Stories Hosted by Matt Damon video, or the comparison group, which received a traditional alcohol education lecture. From pre- to posttest, relative to participants in the comparison group, those in the intervention group had a positive change in regard to whether they thought drinking was OK when kids wanted to have fun (p < .05).

In a second study, participants were students in a junior high school in Massachusetts, which school administrators had divided into four academic "houses," with random assignment of students to each house. Three of the houses were randomly assigned to the intervention group, which viewed the Alcohol: True Stories Hosted by Matt Damon video, and the other house was assigned to the comparison group, which received a traditional alcohol education lecture. From pre- to posttest, relative to participants in the comparison group, those in the intervention group had a positive change in regard to whether they thought that drinking alcohol was OK when kids wanted to have fun (p < .05) and that it was not OK for youth to drink as long as they did not get drunk (p < .05).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1, Study 2
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.2 (0.0-4.0 scale)

Study Populations

The following populations were identified in the studies reviewed for Quality of Research.

Study Age Gender Race/Ethnicity
Study 1 6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
54.5% Female
43.2% Male
Data not reported/available
Study 2 13-17 (Adolescent) 49.5% Male
45.3% Female
Data not reported/available

Quality of Research Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the Quality of Research for an intervention's reported results using six criteria:

  1. Reliability of measures
  2. Validity of measures
  3. Intervention fidelity
  4. Missing data and attrition
  5. Potential confounding variables
  6. Appropriateness of analysis

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Quality of Research.

Outcome Reliability
of Measures
Validity
of Measures
Fidelity Missing
Data/Attrition
Confounding
Variables
Data
Analysis
Overall
Rating
1: Alcohol-related attitudes 1.8 2.3 1.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.2

Study Strengths

The survey has face validity and appears to be culturally appropriate for a wide range of students. In both studies, data were analyzed to assess baseline similarities between participants who were eliminated because of data inconsistencies and participants who were included. No baseline differences were found between these two groups in the first study, and only one baseline difference was found in the second study. Attrition was low, and there was a minimal amount of missing data. In both studies, there was random assignment of participants to either the intervention group or the comparison group, which included another active intervention. Confounding variables were appropriately controlled. Analyses were well delineated for the study design.

Study Weaknesses

Inadequate information is provided to verify with any detail the reliability and validity of the survey used. No outside assessment was conducted to confirm that both treatment and comparison interventions were delivered to both groups with fidelity. Although the intervention is designed to prevent or reduce alcohol use among youth, most participants in one study were adults, and results were reported collectively rather than by youth and adults separately (possibly because of the small number of youth participants). No follow-up analyses were conducted to determine whether the intervention had lasting effects beyond the immediate impact after delivery of the intervention. The sample size in one study was small.

Readiness for Dissemination
Review Date: July 2011

Materials Reviewed

The materials below were reviewed for Readiness for Dissemination. The implementation point of contact can provide information regarding implementation of the intervention and the availability of additional, updated, or new materials.

Family Health Productions, Inc. (2002). Alcohol: True Stories Hosted by Matt Damon [DVD]. Gloucester, MA: Author.

Family Health Productions, Inc. (2002). Alcohol: True Stories Hosted by Matt Damon discussion guide. Gloucester, MA: Author.

Family Health Productions, Inc. (n.d.). Alcohol: True Stories Hosted by Matt Damon facilitator's PowerPoint [DVD]. Gloucester, MA: Author.

Family Health Productions, Inc. (n.d.). Alcohol: True Stories Hosted by Matt Damon train the trainer facilitator workbook. Gloucester, MA: Author.

Family Health Productions, Inc. (n.d.). Alcohol: True Stories Hosted by Matt Damon train the trainer participant workbook. Gloucester, MA: Author.

Program Web site, http://www.wordscanwork.com

Readiness for Dissemination Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the intervention's Readiness for Dissemination using three criteria:

  1. Availability of implementation materials
  2. Availability of training and support resources
  3. Availability of quality assurance procedures

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Readiness for Dissemination.

Implementation
Materials
Training and Support
Resources
Quality Assurance
Procedures
Overall
Rating
3.3 3.8 1.5 2.8

Dissemination Strengths

This program is an easily implemented, straightforward intervention that can be delivered in a variety of settings and in a flexible number of sessions, depending on the needs of implementers. The developer provides well-structured training on the content of the program. The training includes role-playing and tips to help implementers lead an effective discussion while incorporating the key lessons from the program. A posttraining quiz is provided to evaluate implementers' knowledge and contribute to the quality assurance of the program.

Dissemination Weaknesses

Information is limited on incorporating parental involvement and addressing common obstacles to implementation (e.g., youth skepticism). It is unclear how parents implementing the program obtain training for home use. Little guidance is provided for administering and interpreting results from the posttraining quiz. No fidelity monitoring or outcome measures are available to support quality assurance.

Costs

The cost information below was provided by the developer. Although this cost information may have been updated by the developer since the time of review, it may not reflect the current costs or availability of items (including newly developed or discontinued items). The implementation point of contact can provide current information and discuss implementation requirements.

Item Description Cost Required by Developer
Alcohol: True Stories Hosted by Matt Damon (DVD) (includes the discussion guide) $99.99 each Yes
1-day training Varies depending on training location and number of participants No

Additional Information

Discounts are available for bulk ordering, and price quotes are available upon request.

Replications

No replications were identified by the developer.

Contact Information

To learn more about implementation or research, contact:
Kettie MacLean
(978) 282-9970
info@abouthealth.com

Consider these Questions to Ask (PDF, 54KB) as you explore the possible use of this intervention.

Web Site(s):