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The Efficacy of Primavera, a Prevention Programme on Alcohol and Tobacco Use among 10–12-Year-Old Schoolchildren: A Randomized Controlled Cluster Study


Abstract: Alcohol and tobacco use is a major health problem and one of the first causes of the burden of disease and mortality. School-based alcohol and tobacco use prevention programmes that have demonstrated efficacy are most often based on psychosocial skill development, individuals’ experiential learning strategies, and community resources. Furthermore, early and prolonged interventions have been recommended. Primavera is a pluri-annual, generic, multimodal, experiential-oriented prevention program. It runs over a three-year period from the last year of primary school to the second year of secondary school. This randomized controlled cluster study aimed at assessing the effects of the Primavera programme compared to a control prevention intervention among schoolchildren from 10 to 12 years in eight secondary schools in a particular French geographical area. The primary outcomes were lifetime tobacco use and past-month alcohol use. Data were collected at baseline and over three follow-up time points. In all, 287 and 266 questionnaires, respectively, were collected at baseline from the Primavera group and from the control group. Attrition was 45% and 41%, respectively. The SARS-COV2 pandemic crisis made it impossible for questionnaires to be collected during the final year. After adjustment, children from the Primavera group were less likely to report current alcohol use at the end of the first year (odds ratio = 0.39, 95% CI: 0.18–0.78) and past-month alcohol use at the end of the second year (odds ratio = 0.07, 95% CI: 0.01–0.66) compared to those from the control group. The results for psychosocial skills and alcohol and tobacco use denormalization were contrasted. Primavera is shown to be effective in reducing alcohol use among schoolchildren.
Keywords: alcohol / prevention / tobacco / adolescents / psychosocial skills / randomized controlled cluster trial

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