OPfS will evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and short-term impact of the PreVenture program when delivered to youth across Canada through a new online platform. The study is funded by the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has indicated the urgent need to support youth mental health in the time of physical distancing and social isolation (1, 2). To address this need, Dr Patricia Conrod and the PreVenture team have adapted the evidence-based PreVenture program to be fully delivered online.
The PreVenture research team is now collaborating with partners across Canada through the Online PreVenture feasibility Study (OPfS) to rapidly evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and short-term impact of the PreVenture program when delivered to youth online during the pandemic. The study will compare the experiences of 500 teens attending high schools and accessing mental health services across Canada over the span of one year.
1. Jayasinha R, Nairn S, Conrod PJ. (2020). Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. doi.org/10.1177/0706743720943820;
2. Audet M, Jayasinha R, Conrod P. (2021). The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/falling-through-the-safety-net-youth-are-at-the-heart-of-canadas-mental-health-crisis-152525
The online adaptation of the PreVenture program will use a highly secure web-based delivery platform to share the program manuals in a online format and ensure that youth and trained facilitators have access to high-quality, personalised intervention material that will encourage participation during and after completion of the group sessions. The program will maintain much of its essential components (group-based, peer-interactions, facilitator-guided discussions, structured personality-targeted cognitive-behavioural exercises), but will be provided by trained facilitators to youth from a distance.
What is involved for youth? Youth ages of 11 to 18 (inclusive) who provide informed consent will be invited to complete a pre and 6-month post web-based survey on their health behaviours (45 minutes), participate in two online PreVenture workshops (90 minutes each) and provide their feedback on their experience of the online program via a short questionnaire (10 minutes).
PreVenture involves brief cognitive behavioural group workshops, led by a trained facilitator, where youth learn adaptive coping skills, set long term goals and channel their personality towards achieving them.
What involved for facilitators? Clinical and teaching professionals will have the opportunity to receive PreVenture facilitator training and deliver the online adapted program to youth in their communities. Focus groups with facilitators will be conducted by the study team to document their experience and feedback on delivering the online intervention.
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