Characterizing and improving HIV/AIDS knowledge among cocaine-dependent outpatients using modified materials

Evan S. Herrmann, Sarah H. Heil, Stacey C. Sigmon, Kelly E. Dunn, Yukiko Washio, Stephen T. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Only 56% of outpatient substance abuse treatment programs in the U.S. provide HIV/AIDS education, likely due to the time required to complete existing educational interventions. This report describes results of a third study in a series to develop a brief educational intervention to increase HIV/AIDS knowledge among cocaine-dependent outpatients. Methods: Participants (N= 90) were randomized to experimental or control conditions and completed two HIV/AIDS knowledge pre-tests with response formats modified to "true-false-don't know." Pre-test results were later compared to historical controls that completed pre-tests in their original "true-false" format. Next, participants in the experimental condition completed an HIV/AIDS educational intervention while participants in the control condition completed a sham intervention. Participants in both conditions then completed knowledge tests a second time. Participants in both conditions were subsequently crossed over, and then completed knowledge tests a third time. Post-intervention analyses were conducted using test data from all participants who completed the educational intervention (N= 56). A subset of these participants (N= 40) completed follow-up tests approximately 9. weeks after completing the educational intervention. Results: Scores on both pre-tests were lower than those observed in historical controls (p< .001). Scores on knowledge tests increased from baseline after participants completed the educational intervention (p< .001), but not after the sham intervention (p> .05). Scores at follow-up remained higher than baseline scores (p< .001). Conclusions: Modifying response formats to include a "don't know" option likely increases identification of baseline knowledge deficits. This brief intervention is effective at increasing HIV/AIDS knowledge among cocaine-dependent outpatients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-225
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV/AIDS drug users
  • HIV/AIDS education
  • HIV/AIDS knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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