The CSI (Climate Schools Interactive) study: A cluster randomised controlled trial of the internet-based Climate Schools: Ecstasy & Emerging Drugs Module

image - Climate Schools I Logo Square
Date Commenced:
01/2013
Expected Date of Completion:
12/2016
Project Supporters:

National Health and Medical Research Council – Postgraduate Research Scholarship; Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing

Project Members: 
image - K. Champion
NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow
Ph 02 9385 0333
image - Maree Teesson Square
Professor
Ph EA Jasmin Bartlett: 02 9385 0167 / j.bartlett@unsw.edu.au
Project Main Description: 

The use of ecstasy is a public health problem and is associated with a range of social costs and harms. Recently, there has been growing concern about the misuse of new psychoactive substances (NPS) designed to mimic the effects of illicit drugs, including ecstasy. Given the overlap in the age of use, risk factors and potential harms associated with ecstasy and NPS use, as well as the fact that NPS are often produced to imitate the psychoactive effects of ecstasy, it is logical to deliver prevention for these substances simultaneously. However, at present no evidence-based prevention program exists which specifically targets ecstasy and NPS use among young people.

Aims: 

To fill this gap, the aim of the CSI Study is to evaluate whether an online, school-based prevention program, known as the Climate Schools: Ecstasy and Emerging Drugs Module, can address and prevent the use of ecstasy and NPS among Australian students.

Design and Method: 

We will seek to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Climate Schools program by running a cluster randomised controlled trial among Year 10 students at 11 Sydney schools in 2014. Schools will be randomised to either the Climate Schools intervention (n=5), or to a control group (n=6). All students will complete a self-report survey at baseline, post-intervention and 6, 12 and 24 months after the intervention. Outcomes measured include ecstasy- and NPS-related knowledge, intentions to use these substances, patterns of use of ecstasy and NPS and a range of secondary outcomes.

Progress/Update: 

The CSI Study commenced in 2014, with students at participating schools (n=11 schools, 1126 students) completing an online self-report baseline survey in February and March. Intervention schools (n=5) successfully implemented the Climate Schools: Ecstasy and Emerging Drugs Module between March and May and positive feedback was received from both teachers and students about the program. Students completed a survey immediately after the intervention survey , as well as a 6- and 12-month follow-up survey. A fifth and final survey is scheduled for 2016, which will provide 24-month follow-up data for the cohort.

Output: 

Three papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals, and a fourth manuscript is currently under review. Since 2013, findings from the CSI Study have been disseminated at nine conferences.

 

Peer reviewed publications:

Champion, K.E., Newton, N.C, Stapinski, L. & Teesson, M. (2016). Effectiveness of a universal Internet-based prevention program for ecstasy and new psychoactive substances: a cluster randomised controlled trial. Addiction, 111 (8): 1396-405. doi: 10.1111/add.13345.

Champion, K.E., Teesson, M & Newton, N.C. (2015). Patterns and correlates of new psychoactive substance use in a sample of Australian high school students. Drug and Alcohol Review, accepted 20th June, DOI: 10.1111/dar.12312

Champion, K.E., Teesson, M. and Newton, N.C. (2015) Development of a Universal Internet-Based Prevention Program for Ecstasy and New Psychoactive Substances. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 5(1), 23-30.

Champion, Katrina, Teesson, Maree, & Newton, Nicola. (2013). A cluster randomised controlled trial of the Climate Schools: Ecstasy and Emerging Drugs Module in Australian secondary schools: study protocol. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 1168. 

Presentations:

K.E. Champion, M. Teesson, L. Stapinski & N.C. Newton. Online prevention of ecstasy and new psychoactive substance use: Two-year outcomes from a cluster randomised controlled trial. Oral presentation at the Society for Mental Health Research Conference, Sydney, Australia, December 8.

K.E. Champion, M. Teesson, L. Stapinski & N.C. Newton. Effectiveness of an online school-based prevention program for ecstasy and new psychoactive substances: Two-year outcomes from a cluster randomised controlled trial. Presented at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Annual Symposium, Sydney, Australia, September 2016.

K. E. Champion, M. Teesson & N.C. Newton. Understanding new psychoactive substance use among young Australians.  UNSW Brain Sciences Symposium, Sydney, April, 2016.

Champion, K. E., Teesson, M., Stapinski, L. & Newton, N. C. An innovative prevention program for ecstasy and new psychoactive substance use: 12-month outcomes from the CSI Study. Symposium presentation at the Society for Mental Health Research 2015 Conference, Brisbane, December 2015.

Champion, K. E., Teesson, M. & Newton, N. C. Patterns and correlates of new psychoactive substance use in a sample of Australian high school students. Poster presentation at the Society for Mental Health Research 2015 Conference, Brisbane, December 2015.

K.E. Champion, N.C. Newton, L. Stapinski, T. Slade, E.L. Barrett & Teesson, M. Internet-based prevention for alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy and new psychoactive substances: outcomes from two cluster randomised controlled trials. Invited Presentation at the Third National Cannabis Conference, Melbourne, Australia, October 2015.

K.E. Champion, M. Teesson, L. Stapinski & N.C. Newton. A cluster randomised controlled trial of an Internet-based prevention program for ecstasy and new psychoactive substances: 1 year outcomes of the CSI Study. Presented at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Annual Symposium, Sydney, Australia, September 2015.

K.E. Champion, M. Teesson & N.C. Patterns and correlates of new psychoactive substance use in a sample of Australian high school students. E-poster presented at the Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use National Colloquium, Canberra, August 2015.

K.E. Champion, N.C. Newton, M. Teesson. An evaluation of an online school-based prevention program for ecstasy and new psychoactive substances. Australasian Society for Behavioural Health and Medicine 10th Annual Scientific Conference, Perth, Australia, February 2015.

Katrina Champion, Nicola Newton & Maree Teesson. (2014). The Climate Schools Interactive (CSI) Study: A cluster randomised controlled trial of an online school-based prevention program for ecstasy and new and emerging drugs. Presented at the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference, Adelaide, Australia, November 2014.  

Champion, K. Newton, N. and Teesson, M. (2013) The Climate Schools Interactive (CSI) study: Protocol of a cluster randomised controlled trial of the internet based ‘Climate Schools: Ecstasy & Emerging Drugs’ module¸ NDARC Annual Symposium, Sydney, 4 September.

 

Educational Resources

Champion, K. E., Newton, N. C., Teesson, M & Newton, K. (2014) The Climate Schools: Ecstasy and Emerging Drugs Module. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW (available online at www.csistudy.org.au).

Benefits: 

To our knowledge, this will be the first trial of an internet-based program specifically designed to target ecstasy and NPS use among adolescents. If deemed effective, the Climate Schools: Ecstasy and Emerging Drugs Module will provide schools with an interactive and novel prevention program for ecstasy and NPS that can be readily implemented by teachers.

Project Status: 
Current