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Parent-focused prevention of adolescent health risk behavior: Study protocol for a multisite cluster-randomized trial implemented in pediatric primary care

Evidence-based parenting interventions play a crucial role in the sustained reduction of adolescent behavioral health concerns. Guiding Good Choices (GGC) is a 5-session universal anticipatory guidance curriculum for parents of early adolescents that has been shown to reduce substance use, depression symptoms, and delinquent behavior. Although prior research has demonstrated the effectiveness of evidence-based parenting interventions at achieving sustained reductions in adolescent behavioral health concerns, public health impact has been limited by low rates of uptake in community and agency settings. Pediatric primary care is an ideal setting for implementing and scaling parent-focused prevention programs as these settings have a broad reach, and prevention programs implemented within them have the potential to achieve population-level impact. The current investigation, Guiding Good Choices for Health (GGC4H), tests the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing GGC in 3 geographically and socioeconomically diverse large integrated healthcare systems. This pragmatic, cluster randomized clinical trial will compare GGC parenting intervention to usual pediatric primary care practice, and will include approximately 3750 adolescents; n = 1875 GGC intervention and n = 1875 usual care. The study team hypothesizes that adolescents whose parents are randomized into the GGC intervention arm will show reductions in substance use initiation, the study’s primary outcomes, and other secondary (e.g., depression symptoms, substance use prevalence) and exploratory outcomes (e.g., health services utilization, anxiety symptoms). The investigative team anticipates that the implementation of GGC within pediatric primary care clinics will successfully fill an unmet need for effective preventive parenting interventions. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.govNCT04040153.

Authors: Scheuer, Hannah; Sterling, Stacy A; Weisner, Constance; Quesenberry, Charles; Yoon, Tae; et al.

Contemp Clin Trials. 2022 01;112:106621. Epub 2021-11-14.

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