Prevention Strategies, the commercialization partner of IPAHW, was recently awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) for the proposal “An Integrative Approach to Control Group Creation for Prevention Research.”
The award will allow Prevention Strategies to develop a method for creating algorithmically generated control groups – Virtual Controls – for use in evaluation alcohol and drug prevention studies.
“Very few of the alcohol and drug prevention programs that are now disseminated are actively evaluated for effectiveness,” stated Bill Hansen, PhD, Senior Research Scientist for Prevention Strategies and the Principal Investigator on the grant. “Virtual Controls will fill this void, providing state and local agencies, schools, and researchers with a tool that will allow them to understand the effectiveness of interventions they deliver. Having information about effectiveness is crucial for making informed policy decisions about what programs to adopt and about such issues as how to improve performance among those who deliver programs.”
Virtual Controls will provide a means to evaluate the effectiveness of alcohol and drug prevention programs that are disseminated when randomization cannot occur. This method will also make evaluating new and adapted programs easier by reducing the challenges of recruitment, subject retention, and onsite data collection.
“Prevention Strategies strives to be at the forefront of innovation in developing tools, programs, and other resources that can increase the application of prevention science in schools and communities that serve youth and young adults,” said David Wyrick, PhD, President of Prevention Strategies. “Virtual Controls will allow communities to better assess their efforts to ensure their resources are committed to impactful initiatives.”