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Evidence-Based Practices

This section features practices that have demonstrated their effectiveness through rigorous research.  These practices have been reviewed by a team of experts and summarized in a way that is easy to understand.

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School-based Alcohol Education Programme Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 2012  - 2014

The school-based alcohol education was designed to change knowledge, attitudes and intentions toward underage alcohol use and abuse in middle school students.  The programme was implemented in seventh grade classes of students between 12 and 15 years old at 16 secondary schools near Hamburg in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany in 2006. The programme consisted of four interactive class lessons, a booklet for students and a booklet for parents.  Teachers participated in a three hour training session about the content of the intervention and the intended delivery structure.  Over a three month period, teachers were to distribute a booklet containing information about alcohol and consequences of alcohol use including violence, dependence, medical and economic effects to students and a booklet containing general information about alcohol, interactions with children and behaving as role models to the students’ parents.  Over the same period, teachers were to teach four class lessons, on the following subjects: legal requirements, advertisement, dealing with peer pressure, and acceptable contexts for alcohol.


Last updated: March 2014

Disordered Eating Prevention Programme Choose translations of the previous link 
Spain, 2012  - 2014

This programme was implemented in 13 publicly funded schools in Terrassa, a city in the Barcelona metropolitan area of Spain for students aged 13.  The programme consisted of one 90 minute ML session discussing media literacy, critical thinking about the feminine Aesthetic-Beauty Model of extreme thinness, and awareness of historical, cross-cultural and media conceptions of beauty.  Some classes also participated in a 90 minute NUT session discussing nutrition and balanced eating.  Male and female students participated in their usual classroom setting as the programme was delivered in weekly sessions over the course of up to two weeks.

Prevention of Smoking in adolescents with Lower Education Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2012

This intervention was based on peer group pressure and social influence to prevent smoking.  The intervention focused on students in junior secondary education (this is what is meant by ‘lower education’ in the title) and was implemented in twenty six schools throughout the Netherlands. It consisted of three lessons on knowledge, attitudes, and social influence, followed by a class agreement not to start or to stop smoking for five months and a class based competition. Admission to the competition was dependent on having a class with less than 10% smokers after five months. The intervention is similar to the Smokefree Class Competition programme implemented across 22 European countries. The authors added some lessons on attitude and social influence. Two extra video lessons on smoking and social influence were available as an optional extra during these five months. Researchers approached these schools directly and gave them a brief explanation about the intervention in order to motivate them to participate. Eighteen schools agreed to do so. The other eight schools (26 in total) were recruited through four other community health services that approached the schools themselves. Baseline data was obtained through questionnaires administered directly to the students. Data for background characteristics was also obtained through these questionnaires. The Dutch National Institute against Smoking (Stivoro) and The Dutch National Institute on mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute) developed and conducted the intervention together with the schools. Stivoro looked at the adherence of schools to the intervention protocol, and collected the registration forms and other documents.  Evaluation was conducted by the authors of this paper.


Last updated 
March, 2014

Smoking Cessation Counseling by Midwives Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2012

This smoking cessation program was available to pregnant women smokers in two provinces of the Netherlands.  Midwives from 21 midwife practices were trained on how to approach the subject of smoking and smoking cessation with their clients and supplied with a brief manual and intervention card explaining the seven-step protocol for effective counseling.  The seven-step protocol includes identifying smoking behavior in the client and her partner, providing information on the short-term advantages of not smoking, discussing barriers to quitting, goal setting, providing self-help materials, agreeing on aftercare, and then following up at 8 months gestation.  Midwives in the intervention gave pregnant women smokers a video, a self-help manual and a booklet for their partner about non-smoking and health counseling, in addition to a general folder from the Dutch Smoking and Health Foundation which is available online to all Dutch women beginning a pregnancy.   All intervention materials were delivered upon the pregnant smoker’s first visit to her midwife.  

Home-Start Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Hungary, Norway, France, Denmark, Ireland, 1973

The Home-Start program is a home visiting intervention in which volunteers with child care experience give support to struggling families with children younger than five years of age. Home-Start targets families and mothers with little experience or social support network, who may have minor but not serious physical or mental health issues. Entry and exit to the Home-Start programme is entirely voluntary and all visits are at the convenience of participating families. It aims to reduce the stress of parenting and encourage families, especially families at risk for child abuse and neglect, so that a nurturing environment for their children may be created.

A Home-Start volunteer from the local community visits the family home for a few hours each week until the youngest child turns five or the family decides to exit from the program. On average, volunteers visit families for 6 months, and visits last for around 3-4 hours. The volunteers give emotional support and assistance with household tasks and outings as needed by each family. The volunteers provide friendship, encouragement, and an example of affectionate child care behaviour.

The program was founded in 1973 in the UK and has expanded into 22 countries around the world, including the Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Hungary, and The Netherlands. There are 314 local schemes of Home-Start UK located in the United Kingdom and in British Forces Germany and Cyprus.