Protocol for a pilot cluster randomised controlled trial of PRoGRAM-A (Preventing gambling related harm in adolescents): a secondary school based social network intervention



Dobbie F, Miller M, Wardle H, Dahlby L, Weir C, Niven A, Stoddart A, Griffiths D, Noble L & White J (2023) Protocol for a pilot cluster randomised controlled trial of PRoGRAM-A (Preventing gambling related harm in adolescents): a secondary school based social network intervention. Durham, North Carolina: Research Square Platform LLC. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-3388470/v1

Background In the UK, recent evidence of young people and gambling indicates a higher prevalence of gambling in comparison to other addictive behaviours. Engaging in gambling-related behaviour at a young age is associated with short and long-term consequences, including financial, emotional, academic, interpersonal, and physical and mental health detriments; otherwise known as gambling related harms (GRH). Given the unique vulnerability of this younger group, early interventions aimed at delaying or preventing gambling are critical. PRoGRAM-A (Preventing Gambling Related Harm in Adolescents) is a school based, social network intervention to protect young people from future GRH, by delaying or preventing gambling experimentation. Methods Pilot cluster RCT with an embedded a process evaluation and health economic scoping study. Participants PRoGRAM-A will be delivered in four schools, with two control schools acting as a comparator. All are secondary schools in Scotland. Baseline surveys conducted with students in S3 (ages 13–14). Follow-up surveys conducted with the same cohort, six months post-baseline.. Intervention PRoGRAM-A trainers will deliver a two-day, out-of-school training workshop to Peer supporters. Peer supporters will be nominated by peers among their school year group (S3, age 13–14). Workshops will provide peer supporters with information on four gambling-related topics: 1) what is gambling? 2) gambling and gaming 3) gambling marketing 4) identifying harm and reducing risk. Peer supporters will disseminate the information (message diffusion) they have learned among their friends and family over a 10 week period. After the two-day workshop, PRoGRAM-A trainers will conduct x3 in-school follow-up sessions with peer supporters to offer support, encouragement and advice to Peer Supporters as well as monitor and explore the extent of their message diffusion. Trial registration Researchregistry8699. Registered 21st February 2023.

Gambling-related harms; School intervention; Cluster randomised trial; Process evaluation; Adolescent; Peer supporters; Social network analysis; Message diffusion

StatusIn Press
FundersNIHR National Institute for Health Research
Publication date online30/11/2023
PublisherResearch Square Platform LLC
Place of publicationDurham, North Carolina

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Dr David Griffiths

Dr David Griffiths

Senior Lecturer, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

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