, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 248-258

Changing Community Readiness to Prevent the Abuse of Inhalants and Other Harmful Legal Products in Alaska

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Abstract

This paper presents results from an application of the Community Readiness Model (CRM) as part of a multi-stage community mobilization strategy to engage community leaders, retailers, parents, and school personnel in preventing youth use of inhalants and other harmful legal products in rural Alaska. The CRM is designed to assess readiness to address a single social problem, based on a limited set of key informant interviews. In this study, researchers conducted 32 baseline and 34 post-intervention community readiness assessment interviews in four rural Alaskan communities. These interviews with key informants from the communities were coded and analyzed using CRM methods to yield readiness scores for each community. The aggregate results were analyzed using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), and the individual community scores were analyzed in the context of the overall study. Significant positive changes in community readiness were found across six readiness dimensions as well as for the overall readiness score. Variation in the degree of changes in readiness across the four communities is attributed to differences in the intervention’s implementation. The implications of these results include the potential for CRM assessments to serve as an integral component of a community mobilization strategy and also to offer meaningful feedback to communities participating in prevention research.