Riscos & Desafios e R&D 2.0: process evaluation update of a prevention program in higher education context


The high prevalence of psychoactive substance use among higher education students, especially abusive alcohol consumption, has raised the need for effective, structured and continuous prevention strategies. The Riscos & Desafios Prevention Program, designed and validated to fill this gap, is a co-curricular, comprehensive and multi-component competence enhancement based preventive intervention. It is composed of a set of 8 two-hour weekly sessions to be implemented in group format and is aimed at students attending the 1st year of higher education. After 5 years of intervention, conditions were met for the construction of R&D 2.0: a set of 5 booster sessions designed to deepen and broaden the contents and skills addressed in the first year. This study presents the process evaluation of the Program implementation in different contexts and in different years with a sample of 360 students. The evaluation instruments used were the Post-Program Questionnaires, completed by the participants and the facilitators, according to the process evaluation procedures of the Program. The results show that the vast majority of students evaluated the different dimensions - General Opinion about the Risks & Challenges Program, Facilitators and Program Organization - in their various items, in a very positive way. The Program was also rated as Very Good by most of the students, raising their voice to express the importance of developing personal and interpersonal competences. In sum, the process evaluation continued to reveal clearly positive results, expressing the adequacy of the Program R&D and its booster sessions (R&D 2.0) to the characteristics of the target group and reflecting the consistency of the theoretical-practical conceptualization formulated, as well as the methodologies and materials. The results indicated the suitability of the Program to different higher education institutions, degrees, graduations and formats. These data corroborate the evaluation of efficacy of the Risks & Challenges Program and support the continuity of its implementation. In this scenario, the importance of investing on health promotion and prevention of addictive behaviors through structured programs aimed at university students who present themselves as a target population with identified needs in this area becomes clear, thus reinforcing the opinion of the partners in the context of Higher Education about the pertinence and validity of the intervention with the Risks & Challenges Program.


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