eHealth Familias Unidas: Efficacy Trial of an Evidence-Based Intervention Adapted for Use on the Internet with Hispanic Families
While substance use and sexual risk behaviors among Hispanic youth continue to be public health concerns, few evidence-based preventive interventions are developed for and implemented with Hispanic/Latino youth. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of eHealth Familias Unidas, an Internet adaptation of an evidence-based family intervention for Hispanics. A randomized controlled trial design (n = 230) was used to evaluate intervention effects on substance use and condomless sex among a sample of Hispanic eighth graders with behavioral problems. Participants were randomized to eHealth Familias Unidas (n = 113) or prevention as usual (n = 117) and assessed at baseline and 3 and 12 months post baseline. We trained mental health school personnel and community mental health professionals to recruit and deliver the Internet-based intervention with Hispanic families. It was hypothesized that, over time, eHealth Familias Unidas would be more efficacious than prevention as usual in reducing drug use (marijuana, cocaine, inhalants, and other drugs), prescription drug use, cigarette use, alcohol use, and condomless sex and that these changes would be mediated by family functioning. Significant intervention effects were found across time for drug use, prescription drug use, and cigarette use. While eHealth Familias Unidas positively affected family functioning, mediation effects were not found. This study demonstrated that family-based eHealth interventions can be efficacious among Hispanic populations when delivered in community settings.
KeywordsInternet adaptation Drug use prevention Hispanic adolescents
This study was funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, grant U01PS000671 (PI: Yannine Estrada). We would like to express sincere appreciation to all the families who participated in this study. Additionally, thank you for the support from Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The findings and conclusions in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
All participants in this study signed informed consent or assent. The University of Miami’s Human Subject Research Office and Miami-Dade County Public Schools Research Review Committee approved this study. Study activities were carried out according to the ethical standards specified by the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.
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