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Adaptation and implementation of an evidence-based prevention counseling intervention in Texas

, : Adaptation and implementation of an evidence-based prevention counseling intervention in Texas. Aids Education and Prevention 18(4 Suppl A): 108-118

HIV prevention counseling linked with testing has been shown to reduce high-risk behaviors and new sexually transmitted diseases in public clinic settings. However, few studies have been conducted evaluating the implementation of such models outside a research setting. This study sought to determine the extent to which the introduction of a standard protocol based on Project RESPECT improves the achievement of HIV prevention counseling goals of existing counseling and testing programs. Four prevention counseling programs contracting with the Texas Department of State Health Services completed a standardized 5-day training and implemented the protocols, counseling tools, and quality assurance (QA) procedures developed for the project. Introduction of the protocol was accomplished with existing program resources and significantly improved prevention counseling. Direct observation of counseling sessions demonstrated a significant improvement in attainment for eight of the nine counseling goals of initial sessions and for all counseling goals of follow-up sessions after the protocol was introduced. Client exit questionnaires reinforced this finding. Significant improvement was also found in use of counseling skills, with improvements in 6 of 10 skills observed in initial sessions and 4 of 10 skills in follow-up sessions. Challenges identified through semistructured interviews with counselors and supervisors included serving non-English-speaking and low-risk clients, mastery of the protocol, the amount of time required for QA, and implementation in settings with severe time constraints.


PMID: 16987093

DOI: 10.1521/aeap.2006.18.supp.108

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