Rikers Health Advocacy Program (RHAP)

Stephen Magura, Ph.D., Janet L. Shapiro, M.A., Sung-Yeon Kang, Ph.D.

FOCUS

SUMMARY

This program, originally developed for use with incarcerated male adolescent drug users between 16 and 18 years of age, consists of four one hour small group sessions focusing on health education issues, particularly HIV/AIDS. Adapting techniques of Problem Solving Therapy, the facilitator guides eight-person groups in discussing the following topics: general health, HIV and AIDS, drug abuse and its consequences, sexual behavior, health and AIDS-risk behaviors, and strategies for seeking health and social services. Active learning is emphasized, with opportunities for youths to define high-risk attitudes and behaviors, suggest alternative actions and engage in role play and rehearsal activities. A field study of the curriculum compared the attitudes and behaviors of RHAP participants with those of a comparison group of teens, selected from a waiting list for the program. Both samples were predominantly African-American and Hispanic. Following the intervention, program participants were more likely to use condoms during intercourse, compared to the comparison group of teens.

SUITABLE FOR USE IN

RHAP is appropriate for school- or community-based programs serving high risk teens, especially drug users and incarcerated youth. Although it was initially targeted toward males, the curriculum is equally pertinent for females. Single-sex discussion groups are recommended.

ORIGINAL INTERVENTION SAMPLE

Age, Gender
The original sample included 110 males, ages 16 to 18 years (avg.= 17.8).

Race/Ethnicity
64% African-American, 33% Latino, 3% other.

PROGRAM LENGTH

This is a two-week intervention. Two one-hour group sessions are held each week, for a total of four sessions.

STAFFING REQUIREMENTS/TRAINING

One leader is required for each group of approximately eight participants. Leaders should be the same sex as the teens in their group; they must also be comfortable working with high-risk youths and knowledgeable about drug use/abuse. For training, a thorough review of the curriculum and strategies for facilitating group sessions is recommended.

   Primary Pregnancy Prevention
   Secondary Pregnancy Prevention
   STD/HIV/AIDS Prevention

ORIGINAL SITE
   School-Based
   Community-Based
   Clinic-Based

APPROACH
   Abstinence
   Behavioral Skills Development
   Community Outreach
   Contraceptive Access
   Contraceptive Education
   Life Option Enhancement
   Self-Efficacy/Self-Esteem
   Sexuality/STD/HIV/AIDS Education

COMPONENTS
   Adult Involvement
   Case Management
   Group Discussion
   Lectures
   Peer Counseling/Instruction
   Public Service Announcements
   Role Play
   Video
   Other
   

PASHA PROGRAM PACKAGE

The PASHA Program Package for this program includes:

  • PASHA User's Guide
  • Protocol Handbook
  • Transitions (March 2003), newsletter reprint
  • A Set of Original Evaluation Instruments
  • Prevention Minimum Evaluation Data Set (PMEDS)
  • Local Evaluator Consultant Network Directory

  • Telephone technical support on implementation and evaluation for 1 year