With funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), we are developing and testing a digital screening and brief intervention tool, HELP 2.0, for substance use in pregnant and postpartum women. We are partnering with Healthy Families and Parents as Teachers home visiting programs in New Jersey to adapt the digital program for the home visiting context and conduct a pilot randomized controlled trial to assess feasibility, acceptability and preliminary impacts.

Study overview

HELP 2.0 is intended for use within the context of a home visit. This model allows patients to receive screening and brief intervention for substance use, as well as referral to a local treatment provider while maintaining privacy and reducing the burden on home visiting staff.

The intervention is based on motivational interviewing and has been extensively tested with pregnant and postpartum women in primary health care settings. This study represents the first test of this intervention in home visiting. In partnership with home visiting administrators, staff and clients, we are adapting the intervention content for the home visiting setting, as well as creating additional content to address risk factors that commonly co-occur with substance use:

Following adaptation, we will conduct a pilot randomized trial to test feasibility and impacts in New Jersey Healthy Families America and Parents as Teachers programs. If successful, this program has potential for wide dissemination via state and national home visiting networks, and could also be adapted for use in other settings that serve pregnant and postpartum women such as primary care pediatrics, early intervention and child care settings, and child welfare settings.

Study partners

Study findings

Dauber, S., Hammond, C., & Martinez, M. (2020, December). Poster presentation: “Developing and Testing an Enhancement to Routine Home Visiting to Address Substance Use: Computerized Screening and Brief Intervention.” Presented virtually at the Administration for Children and Families’ National Research Conference on Early Childhood.

Hammond, C., Dauber, S., & Martinez, M. (2020, April). Poster presentation: “Addressing Substance Use Risk in Pregnant and Postpartum Women Enrolled in Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs: Developing a Computerized Screening and Brief Intervention Package.” Presented virtually at RxSummit.