A self-administered tablet app, StaySafe, helps people under community supervision to make better decisions regarding health risk behaviors, especially those linked to HIV, viral hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted infections. The multi-session StaySafe design uses an interactive, analytical schema called WORKIT that guides users through a series of steps, questions, and exercises aimed at promoting critical thinking about health risks associated with substance use and unprotected sex. Repetition of the WORKIT schema is designed to enhance procedural memory that can be rapidly accessed when individuals are faced with making decisions about risky behaviors.
A total of 511 participants under community supervision in community and residential treatment settings from three large Texas counties completed consent forms and baseline surveys, followed by randomization to one of two conditions: 12 weekly StaySafe sessions or standard practice (SP). The study also asked participants to complete a follow-up survey three months after baseline. Outcome measures included knowledge, confidence, and motivation (KCM) scales around HIV knowledge, avoiding risky sex, HIV services, and reducing health risks; decision-making; and reports of talking about issues such as making better decisions, avoiding HIV risks, and HIV prevention or treatment with others (probation officers, counselors, trusted friend or advisor, or family members).
Participants in both community and residential settings voluntarily completed multiple StaySafe sessions, with those in the residential settings completing more sessions. When compared with SP participants, StaySafe participants showed greater improvement in the KCM measures-HIV knowledge, avoiding sex risks, HIV services, and risk reduction skills. In addition, greater improvements in the KCM measures as well as an increased likelihood to discuss issues with others were associated with completing more StaySafe sessions.
These results suggest that the StaySafe app is a feasible and potentially effective tool for improving health risk reduction decision-making for individuals under community supervision.

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