AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 538–548 | Cite as

A Randomized Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy of a Computer-Tailored Intervention to Promote Safer Injection Practices Among Drug Users

  • Hélène GagnonEmail author
  • Gaston Godin
  • Michel Alary
  • Julie Bruneau
  • Joanne Otis
Original Paper


The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a theory-based intervention to increase the use of a new syringe for each injection among injection drug users (IDUs). Users of two needle exchange programs (NEPs) were involved. At both sites, participants were assigned at random to either the experimental or the control group. Once a week for four weeks, users reported to the NEPs where they logged onto a computer and received an audiovisual message. A total of 260 IDUs were recruited. At baseline, 52.3% of participants reported that they had not always used new syringes in the previous week. The results indicate that it is possible for IDUs to adopt safer injection practices. One month after the intervention began, participants in the experimental group were using fewer dirty syringes compared to the control group (RR: 0.47 CI95% 0.28–0.79; P = .004). This short-term effect was no longer present 3 months later.


Computer tailoring Injection drug users Evaluation HIV Needle exchange programs 



The authors would like to thank all IDU’s who participated in this study. Thanks also to Mario Gagnon and Gilles Beauregard, directors of the participating NEPs, as well as Sarah-Emmanuelle Gauthier and Frédérique Audy, our community worker/research assistants; graphic and website designers and Denis Samson; and Stéphanie Camden for her support for the statistical analyses. This project was supported by a grant from the Programme des actions concertées du Fonds Québecois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC). Hélène Gagnon holds a doctoral scholarship from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Gaston Godin is the chairholder of the Canada Research Chair on Behavior and Health CIHR, and Michel Alary is a national researcher of the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec, Canada [grant number 8722].


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hélène Gagnon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gaston Godin
    • 2
  • Michel Alary
    • 3
  • Julie Bruneau
    • 4
  • Joanne Otis
    • 5
  1. 1.Institut national de santé publique du Québec, Développement des individus et des communautésQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Faculté des sciences infirmièresUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  3. 3.Centre hospitalier affilié universitaire de QuébecQuébecCanada
  4. 4.Faculté de médecineUniversité de MontréalQuébecCanada
  5. 5.Département de sexologieUniversité du Québec à MontréalQuébecCanada

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