Title

Constructing a Consensus-Based Prevention Outcome Measurement Instrument

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2001

Abstract

This article describes Ohio's Prevention Evaluation Project (PEP). The purpose of the project was to develop a process and instrument to assess behavioral and attitudinal outcomes in primary drug abuse prevention programs targeting young people aged twelve to seventeen. One of PEP's principal achievements was the inclusion of community prevention program providers from throughout the state in the evaluation instrument development. The effort produced a self-administered questionnaire to capture data on young peoples' drug use practices, attitudes toward drugs, and problematic behaviors. Most significantly, the product produced was the acceptance and endorsement of community-based programs. The forty-one-item questionnaire has good to excellent reliability for virtually all measures, as assessed by the test-retest method. The instrument is a product of a process that brought together a university-based research team, state alcohol and drug abuse prevention administrators, and representatives of public programs. PEP demonstrates how to productively link service providers, administrators, and evaluators to develop a process for assessing the effectiveness of prevention programs. The process and tools described serve as a model for other communities wanting to evaluate their prevention programming.