COURSE #1: INTRODUCTION TO PREVENTION
This course serves as a basic introduction to the field of prevention science. Lectures preceding discussion will be given by leading NIH scientists in the field of prevention science with an emphasis on alcohol and other drug research and intervention. The course begins with a general history and overview of the field relative to the public health approach to prevention, comparing cultural and psychosocial to biomedical approaches. Lectures focus on research strategies and intervention models that address environmental factors involved with AOD-related problems, emphasizing family, school, workplace and community-based approaches. The history of and empirical support for each of these programs is evaluated. Readings will be assigned.
Scientific and Historical Background
Week 1 Definitions of prevention science in public health, historical roots of public health approach, concepts of prevention “environments” with focus on geography, social organization and cultural factors.
Week 2 The epidemiology of AOD problems. Assessing physical and social consequences and costs of use.
Week 3 Genetic and biological markers and alcohol metabolism, physiological effects of alcohol use/abuse and alcoholism.
Week 4 Family-based approaches to the prevention of AOD use and problems.
Week 5 Social-psychological approaches to understanding AOD use. Implications for prevention.
Week 6 Discussion
Week 7 Cultural models of drug and alcohol abuse.
Practical Applications in Prevention Science
Week 8 Policy and regulatory approaches to the reduction of AOD problems. Community systems and economic approaches. Community-based environmental interventions to reduce AOD problems.
Week 9 Prevention models in clinical settings. Screening and brief interventions.
Week 10 Site-specific environmental strategies. Workplace culture.
Week 11 Site-specific environmental strategies. The schools, higher education.
Week 12 School-based approaches to the reduction of AOD problems.
Week 13 Alcohol, public policy and law.
Week 14 Final review and discussion.
COURSE #2: RESEARCH ETHICS AND GRANT
The first 13 meetings of this 16-week course interweave consideration
of various ethical issues associated with the conduct of research
with presentations on grant application development-related
concerns. The last 3 meetings consider various aspects of
the application submission process and provide trainees the
opportunity to simulate this process in mock fashion. Successful
completion of the course requires the trainee develop all
six components of a preliminary grant application, complete
one full formal review of an unrelated grant application,
and present two case studies in public health ethics. These
activities will be intensively coordinated with each trainee's
primary mentor. Additionally, each trainee will participate
in a mock review process. Readings will be assigned.
Week 1 Ethics: Discussion of public health
ethics from a societal and social justice perspective. Introduction
to ethical considerations in public health, prevention, research
in prevention science, and the protection of human subjects.
Week 2 Practicum: Grant writing with a basic
overview of the general process of developing a grant application
and a specific focus on the development of the Specific Aims
section. The general tripartite structure of the course will
be established: (1) At each practicum meeting, the instructor
will lead a group discussion of progress on the section of
the grant application discussed at the previous practicum
meeting. (2) This will be followed by a presentation on the
next section of the application by the session's practicum
instructor, drawing upon examples from her or his own work
and two selected grant exemplars. (3) Faculty and trainees
will hold a group discussion of the development of each section
of each application. Between sessions, each trainee will revise
previous sections of the application and work on the next
section of the application.
Week 3 Ethics: Discussion of scientific
research ethics in broadest terms. The ethical conduct of
scientific research, scientific responsibility, and the maintenance
of the scientific commons.
Week 4 Practicum: Grant application development
with a focus on the Background and
Week 5 Ethics: Problems of scientific objectivity,
ethical issues associated with scientific publications, and
the conduct of scientific research.
Week 6 Practicum: Grant application development
with a focus on the Preliminary Studies section.
Week 7 Ethics: Ethics with a focus on legal
issues in public health. Public health, public health policy,
and the law.
Week 8 Practicum: Grant application development
with a focus on writing qualitative and quantitative Design
and Methods sections. Since these sections are highly specific
to each application, greater time is allotted to individual
Week 9 Practicum: Grant application development
with a focus on the Design and Methods sections (continued).
Measurement issues, operationalizations and discussion of
"power" in qualitative and quantitative applications.
Since these sections are highly specific to each application,
greater time will be allotted to individual trainee discussions.
Week 10 Ethics: Trainees present and analyze
two case studies following an established protocol that emphasizes
the goals of scientific inquiry, proper conduct of research
with human subjects, objective reporting of research findings,
and the role of scientific facts in the construction and implementation
of public health policies.
Week 11 Practicum: Discussion of the NIH
review process and pink sheet comments from
exemplar applications. Discussion of responses and "responsiveness"
comments. An outline of the NIH review process will be provided.
Week 12 Practicum: Budget development, budget
justifications, and the use of Appendix
material. This session will consist of presentations on the
structure and development of budgets and budget justifications
from the perspectives of administrative and research/scientific
staff, respectively. Sample budgets will be presented and
developed. Group discussions will focus on roughing out a
budget for each trainee's application.
Week 13 Ethics: Specific issues related
to the treatment of human subjects. Each trainee's grant application
will undergo human subjects review in detail by two faculty
in the program. The goal is to provide critical supportive
feedback to guide further development of each application.
Week 14 Practicum: Instructor and faculty
public review of trainee applications. Includes comprehensive
human subjects review and comment.
Week 15 Ethics: The Institutional Review
Board (IRB) review processes.
Week 16 Course review and discussion. Debriefing
on the course.
COURSE #3: RESEARCH METHODS IN PREVENTION
This course presents an introduction to general research
methods used by prevention scientists as practical examples
of currently conducted prevention research. The three-segment
course covers general methodological approaches to research
in the field. Following a brief introduction to research methods
in prevention research, three lectures will cover qualitative
methods in prevention research. Unique to the applied nature
of prevention research, the next five lectures will cover
methods for the evaluation of specific prevention programs
with an emphasis upon the integration of program design and
evaluation methods (e.g., logic models, process evaluation,
efficacy and effectiveness trials, assessments of program
fidelity, and outcome analyses). The final four lectures will
address four specific quantitative approaches to prevention
research commonly used in the research literature (linear
and nonlinear models, mathematical models and related tools,
and other integrated approaches). Specific topics include
methods for the assessment of theoretical and empirical models
of AOD problems, ethnography and community prevention, underage
and intoxicated patron surveys, measuring alcohol consumption,
archival data analysis, geographic analysis, interview methods,
evaluation research, and role of health economics in prevention
Meetings during the 14-week course consist of a summary of
research methods or a detailed presentation of one research
application of a specific research method in prevention science.
Specific research problems are emphasized in order to provide
a suitable content framework in which to understand the kinds
of research questions that each method can address. Readings
will be assigned.
Week 1 Introduction to Research Methods:
Expectations for trainees will be discussed. An informal outline
will be provided of the methodological approaches to be discussed
in subsequent lectures. Research methods that support two
general regimes for research in prevention science will be
the focus of the lectures: (1) program development, application
and evaluation, and (2) basic science (qualitative and quantitative
Week 2 Qualitative Methods 1 - Ethnographic
Analysis of Environmental Risks and
Protective Factors: A brief overview of the ethnographic method
will be presented with a discussion of its conceptual and
practical application for basic research and intervention.
Using examples from recent publications on alcohol and the
workplace, the success of using the ethnographic method in
identifying and explaining environmental risks and protective
factors and, thereafter, applying findings to prevention programming,
will be demonstrated.
Week 3 Qualitative Methods 2 - Qualitative
Data Management and Analytical
Methods: The mechanics of managing qualitative data and the
analytical strategies that qualitative researchers use to
mine that data will be discussed. Drawing from a dataset of
drinking and sexual risks among Navy recruits, the iterative
processes through which ethnographic materials are handled,
coded and analyzed will be examined.
Week 4 Qualitative Methods 3 - Ethnography
and Community Prevention: Emphasis on the contribution ethnography
can make to the science of community-level prevention of alcohol-related
and other health problems. The case study is the ethnographic
"mop-up" conducted in three Community Trials intervention
sites, as well as three comparison communities.
Week 5 Evaluating Environmental Prevention Programs
- An Example: Discussion on phases of preventive
intervention program development and presentation of one example
of an evaluation of a multi-component environmental prevention
program (Community Trials).
Week 6 Evaluating Youth Prevention Programs
- An Example: The development and application of youth prevention
programs for the reduction of alcohol access, use, and related
problems among underage drinkers.
Week 7 Evaluating Family-Based Prevention
Programs - An Example: Discussion on the development and application
of family-based programs for the reduction of alcohol-related
problems among youth.
Week 8 Evaluating College-Based Prevention
Programs - An Example: The development and application of
college-based programs for the reduction of alcohol-related
problems among underage college youth and young adults will
Week 9 Integrated Program Evaluation Methods:
An opportunity will be provided for the trainees to review
applications of program evaluation methods in prevention research
with a view to understanding the role(s) of these methods
in guiding their future work in this area. This open discussion
session is intended to enable trainees to focus on the potential
role(s) of these methods in their own work.
Week 10 Quantitative Methods 1 - Overview
of Linear Models: Basic overview of linear modeling with examples
in SPSS software and published studies. Trainees will gain
a better understanding of the basic assumptions of linear
modeling, the types of research questions that can be addressed
with linear modeling, and statistical software that is available
for linear modeling.
Week 11 Quantitative Methods 2 - Overview
of Nonlinear Model: Basic overview of nonlinear modeling with
examples in SPSS software and published studies. Trainees
will gain a better understanding of the basic assumptions
of nonlinear modeling, why nonlinear modeling techniques are
of substantive importance in research studies, and statistical
software that is available for nonlinear modeling.
Week 12 Quantitative Methods 3 - Overview
of Mathematical Models: The role of mathematical models in
two areas of alcohol research will be discussed: alcohol epidemiology
and environmental prevention. Two articles will be discussed,
one representing dynamic systems models of drinking and relapse
and another representing agent-based models of the effects
of availability on rates of alcohol problems.
Week 13 Integrated Quantitative Methods:
Trainees will have the opportunity to review applications
of program evaluation methods in prevention research with
a view to understanding the role(s) of these methods in guiding
their future work in this area. This open discussion session
is intended to enable trainees to focus on the potential role(s)
of these methods in their own work.
Week 14 Course review and discussion.
COURSE #4 : ADVANCED METHODS IN PREVENTION
RESEARCH: SELECTED TOPICS
This course addresses advanced analysis and statistical issues
encountered in the application of the methods typically used
in prevention science along with addressing the problem of
integrating quantitative and qualitative analytic approaches.
The goal of the course is to provide post-doctoral trainees
with an acquaintance with state-of-the art techniques and
concerns in qualitative and quantitative analyses applied
to prevention science. The course begins with a discussion
of qualitative/field approaches to data from small groups
and community environments with an emphasis upon the integration
of these approaches with quantitative methods. The limitations
and complementarities of both approaches are highlighted.
The classical general linear model is introduced and the limitations
of this approach are discussed. Implications of violations
of the assumptions of the classical model are discussed along
with statistically appropriate remedies.
Week 1 Analyzing text through text analysis
Week 2 Integrating methods. Integrating
disciplines through the combined use of both quantitative
and qualitative data.
Week 3 Qualitative intervention studies.
Week 4 Epidemiological methods.
Week 5 Introduction to regression analysis.
Techniques appropriate to formal and natural experimental
designs. Cross-sectional, time-series, and time-series panel
Week 6 Analysis of hierarchically-ordered
data. General problems encountered in such designs and appropriate
Week 7 Time-series analysis. Analyzing temporally
ordered data. Time-series cross-sectional designs.
Week 8 Mid-course review and discussion.
Week 9 Classical and Bayesian spatial analysis
and spatial panels.
Week 10 Collection and analysis of epidemiologic
data from a social epidemiology perspective.
Week 11 Introduction to structural equation
modeling. The use of multi-equation models in Prevention Science.
Week 12 SEM continued: Longitudinal models
of change and trajectory analysis, discrete mixture models.
Week 13 Modeling sample selection bias.
The problem of modeling in the presence of missing data.
Week 14 Quantitative analysis of qualitative
data: Logits, probits, ordered and unordered multinomials,
Week 15 Course evaluation and final discussion.