Cancer Control Research5R44CA096158-03
Severson, Herbert H.
SPITWORLD: INTERACTIVE TOBACCO EDUCATION FOR ADOLESCENTS
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The proposed project will develop an interactive computer- based program for smokeless tobacco (ST) prevention and cessation aimed at middle school students. The CD-ROM program is designed to be an adjunct to tobacco education as smokeless tobacco prevention and cessation is often overlooked or not covered in standard health education curricula aimed at tobacco prevention. Smokeless tobacco use continues to be a serious tobacco problem but many teachers have not been trained, and do not have resources, to teach about the risks of ST. The proposed program will be based upon our Phase I prototype program entitled Spit World in which students are presented with a video arcade interface that offers them random access to several "game like" activities in which they will learn about the risks of smokeless tobacco use. The Phase I prototype in which students had a choice of four ST prevention/cessation games in Spit World was very well received by both middle school students and teachers. We propose to expand the menu of options to include more activities and allow the user to navigate into more complex and entertaining games. The proposed program will also link to a website which will offer administrative and scoring feedback via Internet to teachers. We will draw upon our extensive experience in developing prevention and cessation materials for smokeless tobacco education, and our experience in developing interactive computer based programs for smokeless tobacco users and input from our target audience of middle school students and teachers, as well as our expert panel of consultants. The evaluation will include pilot testing and an evaluation trial with 840 middle school students randomized by classroom to either receive their standard tobacco curriculum or our interactive SpitWorld program as an adjunct to the curriculum. The program will be evaluated by pre and post assessment, and followup assessments at 6 months to evaluate the impact of the program on intentions, risk perception, and tobacco use.