The Program Evaluation for Prevention Contract (PEP-C) provides a unique opportunity to assess the influence of efforts to address health disparities across multiple, nationwide substance abuse prevention programs funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). PEP-C consists of a collaboration between CSAP and three separate research organizations to conduct national, cross-site evaluations of community-focused substance abuse prevention programs. Community grantees in each of these programs engage in the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) process to 1) assess their priority substance abuse needs and populations, 2) build the capacity of the community and prevention workforce to address those needs, 3) go through a planning process to determine the best interventions to address their needs, 4) implement the interventions, and 5) evaluate the impact of the interventions. A focus on sustainability and cultural competence is integral to the SPF process
, however CSAP more recently began asking grantees to explicitly target health disparities in their efforts. This symposia describes how the evaluations of three of CSAP’s programs can inform prevention researchers on health disparities-related capacity needs, implementation, and measurement.
The first presentation describes some of the unique challenges with implementing community-based substance abuse interventions in minority communities and provides information on specific capacity-building targets that may overcome those challenges. The second presentation provides evaluation findings for a program targeted at providing HIV and substance abuse prevention services to minority populations residing in communities at high risk of HIV. The third presentation describes new measures explicitly created to assess health disparities-focused activities, targets, and outcomes in evaluations of large-scale, national evaluations of prevention programs. The symposia will conclude with a discussion of how to incorporate considerations of health disparities in evaluations of substance abuse prevention efforts.