HealthWise II/HealthWise Dissemination: Translation to Multiple Schools

HealthWise II photo

Start Date: 2010
Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Researchers from the Prevention Research Center at Penn State and the University of the Western Cape and the University of Cape Town in South Africa have been collaborating for several years in testing the effectiveness of HealthWise, a comprehensive universal prevention program designed to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS and STDs, as well as substance use, among adolescents in South Africa.

In the second phase of the HealthWise project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Penn State and its partners in South Africa will continue their work to: (1) advance Type 2 translational science and theory building by (2) targeting risk and protective factors for substance abuse and sexual risk (e.g., HIV/AIDS) among 8th- and 9th-grade South African youth.

In this next phase, three independent variables will be examined in the Metro South Education District in Capetown, South Africa: (1) teacher training and structure, (2) support and supervision, and (3) enhancement of the school environment. The first two will focus on how to prepare teachers and monitor their delivery of a prevention program with fidelity. The third variable will be concerned with the development of a school climate that supports the successful delivery of a prevention program.

HealthWise I

The first phase of the HealthWise Project was initiated in 2001 between Drs. Edward Smith and Linda Caldwell from Penn State and Dr. Tania Vergnani (Director of the HIV/Aids Programme, UWC), and Ms. Lisa Wegner (Occupational Therapy Department, UWC). In January 2004, Prof. Alan Flisher from the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town, Dr. Cathy Mathews from the South Africa Medical Research Council, and Drs. Linda Collins, John Graham, and Elias Mpofu joined the research team. The project is a five-year efficacy trial, funded by U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, to evaluate the effectiveness of the HealthWise program.

The overall goals of the HealthWise curriculum are to: (1) reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other STIs, (2) reduce drug and alcohol abuse, and (3) increase positive use and experience of free and leisure time. The curriculum consists of twelve lessons for Grade 8 learners, and six lessons for Grade 9 learners.

Penn State Investigators, HealthWise II

Linda Caldwell photo

Linda Caldwell

Professor of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management

Edward Smith photo

Edward Smith

Director of Evaluation Research, Prevention Research Center

Linda Collins photo

Linda Collins

Director, Methodology Center; Professor of Human Development and Family Studies

John Graham photo

John Graham

Professor of Biobehavioral Health

Mark T. Greenberg photo

Mark T. Greenberg

Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research; Director, Prevention Research Center; and Professor of Human Development and Psychology

Damon Jones

Research Associate, Prevention Research Center

South Africa Partners

University of Western Cape

Dr. Tania Vergnani

Lisa Wegner

University of Cape Town

Prof. Alan Flisher

South Africa Medical Research Council

Dr. Cathy Mathews

Podcast on HealthWise South Africa, Penn State Methodology Center, Aug. 8, 2011

Download Podcast