Fourth EUSPR Conference Summary

Photograph: Plenary session 2. From left to right - Dr Jeanne Poduska, Frederick Groeger-Roth, Prof David Foxcroft (Session Chair), and Dr Katarzyna Okulicz-KozarynOn 13-15 November 2013, the 4th International Conference of the EUSPR on ‘Understanding differences in prevention outcomes’ was held in Paris, France.

The conference focused on the important role of modifiers of prevention outcome, and examined the best ways in which diversity can be incorporated into research and practice.

We had an exciting and varied programme with over 70 presentations from 18 European countries as well as from the USA and South America. Plus, with 175 attendees, 2013 is our most attended conference.

Plenary speakers presented the latest findings from research in Germany, Italy, Poland, UK, and the USA, which investigated modifying factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, family and socioeconomic status.

Photograph: Plenary session 2. From left to right – Dr Jeanne Poduska, Frederick Groeger-Roth, Prof David Foxcroft (Session Chair), and Dr Katarzyna Okulicz-Kozaryn.

The conference was very well received, with attendees praising the programme and networking opportunities. One attendee said ‘The EUSPR International conference has turned into an annual “must” for professionals who want to be in the front of prevention research and knowledge’.

Photograph: Poster area, at the conference venue (Le Centquatre)Pre-conference methodology workshops were introduced at the conference, on “Testing Mediating Mechanisms and Moderating Factors in Prevention Work” and “Development and Evaluation of Complex Preventive Interventions”.

We have received a great deal of positive feedback on the workshops and suggestions for future workshops.

One workshop attendee said “I enjoyed participating in and contributing to the pre conference workshop on complex interventions – would be good to have workshops next year also.”

The workshops were held in collaboration with the Science for Prevention Academic Network (SPAN) project. SPAN also provided bursaries for early career researchers and sponsored the early career researcher poster prizes.

Photograph: Poster area, at the conference venue (Le Centquatre)

We held a special guided poster session as part of Day 2 of the conference, with prizes supported by SPAN, for the best Early Career Posters:

The winners of the poster competition were:

1st Place
1. The impact of smoking policies on recent quitters prevalence in Italy in the last three decades (Dr Alessandro Coppo)

2nd Place
31. A National Evaluation and Comparison of Parenting Programs: The One Year Effects (Viveca Olofsson)

3rd Place
17. Association between migratory process and alcohol and substance use: evidence from Brazilian immigrants in the UK (Martha Canfield)
Photograph: Plenary Session 1 - Prof Frances Gardner, University of Oxford, UKThe conference introduced lunch activities, one of the highlights was the presentation on NIDA’s prevention portfolio, by Harold Perl, Chief of the Prevention Research Branch at NIDA. Other sessions were a talk on research funding opportunities that are open to European scientists, EUSPR’s first post graduate student/early career researcher forum, and symposiums on Transportability of evidence-based programmes, and Screentime related prevention research.

Please see the 2013 conference pages for further details of the conference, including the programme, conference booklet, conference and workshop presentations.

Photograph: Plenary Session 1 – Prof Frances Gardner, University of Oxford, UK

Details of the 2014 conference will be available on the EUSPR’s website during the coming weeks. Please contact us to be added to the conference distribution list.

The conference was co-organised with INPES (French Institute for Prevention and Health Education), MILDT (Interdepartmental Mission for the fight against drugs and drug addiction), INCa (French National Cancer Institute), IReSP (French Institute For Public Health Research) and Aviesan (National Alliance for Life Sciences and Health).

Pre-conference workshops were in collaboration with SPAN.

EUSPR Conference – Poster Competition Winners

We held a special guided poster session as part of Day 2 of the conference. There were prizes for the best Early Career Posters including cash prizes and one year’s free Society membership. The poster prizes were supported by the Science for Prevention Academic Network (SPAN)

The winners of the poster competition were:

1st Place
1. The impact of smoking policies on recent quitters prevalence in Italy in the last three decades (Dr Alessandro Coppo)

Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Contributing authors: Alessandro Coppo, Sandro Baldissera, Alessandro Migliardi, Valentina Minardi, Elisa Quarchioni, Gianluigi Ferrante, Fabrizio Faggiano and the PASSI Coordinating Group

2nd Place
31. A National Evaluation and Comparison of Parenting Programs: The One Year Effects (Viveca Olofsson)

Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
Contributing authors: Viveca Olofsson & Metin Özdemir

3rd Place
17. Association between migratory process and alcohol and substance use: evidence from Brazilian immigrants in the UK (Martha Canfield)

University Of Roehampton, London, UK
Contributing authors: Martha Canfield, Dr Catherine Gilvarry, Dr Marcia Worrell


EUSPR Members and attendees of the 2013 Conference can download the poster competition winning posters and selected posters from the conference at the following link:

Poster Presentations

Discussion of prevention research priorities in the USA and Europe

Harold Perl (Chief, Prevention Research Branch, NIDA, USA) – The NIDA Prevention Portfolio

  • General overview of NIH and NIDA;
  • Review of some of the most recent and relevant findings emerging from the NIDA portfolio of prevention science;
  • Description of several specific areas of prevention research questions that NIDA expects to emphasize and support in the coming years;
  • How prevention (and drug abuse prevention in particular) fits into the ongoing and upcoming health care reform process in the USA.

Maria Moreira (EMCDDA, PT) – Prevention in EU Funding

  • Current major EU funding schemes and what they have funded/are funding;
  • How the EMCDDA is supporting the setting of the EU research priority agenda;
  • Overview of the new EU funding programme (Horizon 2020) starting January 2014, inc. opportunities for prevention research and international cooperation


Post-graduate student Forum

Angelina Brotherhood (University of Vienna, AT) – Spaces of substance use – a typology

Space is relevant to many aspects of drug use, be it as a space of consumption or as a means of preventive or other intervention (such as smoking bans). Yet most research on the role of space in drug use appears to have focussed on alcohol and illegal drug use in the night time environment. Far fewer studies have explicitly examined the role of space from the perspective of individual substance use practices (not limited to a particular setting), and these studies have tended to examine one substance only.

Using repertory grids, the planned PhD project seeks to explore how young adults make sense of the spaces in which they consume (or do not consume) a variety of legal or illegal substances. It is assumed that different substances ‘create’ different spaces of consumption within the context of social space, depending on for example the legal status of substances, societal norms surrounding use, and the function of substance use for the person. The aim of the project is consequently to develop a typology of spaces of substance use. Of interest to prevention research, this study will contribute to an understanding of how drug-related needs (and consequently experiences of intervention) may vary across different types of spaces.

This research has recently started and therefore the presentation will focus on the rationale for the study (in the form of a conceptual framework on space and drugs) as well as the proposed methodology.

Anna-Theresa Renner (Gesundheit Österreich GmbH, AT) – Socioeconomic Status and Risky Health Behaviours – Explaining the Health Gradient

The main research objective of my work (master thesis for the master program “Health Economics, Policy and law” at the Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2011) was to identify possible channels through which socioeconomic status proxied by education influences the risky health behaviours: smoking tobacco, alcohol abuse and consumption and overeating. Econometric estimations on each of these bad habits shows that measures of cognitive ability, attitude towards life, social integration, description of the main job and the monthly household income together explain over 67% of the negative smoking gradient by education, 77.5% of the differences in at least occasional alcohol consumption but only around 6% of the negative gradient on being obese. The relationship between heavy alcohol abuse and education is against all expectations a positive one and only some measures

of attitude towards life and social integration reduce the probability of alcohol abuse. Furthermore, the additive theory, introduced by the author, which states that an individual accumulates risky health behaviours reflecting, and hence explained by, personal characteristics is tested. The results of the econometric analysis confirm that schooling has a negative effect on cumulating bad habits. It is shown that the level of education has little impact on picking up one unhealthy habit, whereas the chance of adding another one or two to this vice on average decreases by about 8% with each level of education.

Kimberley Hill (Oxford Brookes University, UK) – Understanding Alcohol Subjectivities: A Q–Methodology Approach

Behaviour change theories aimed at preventing alcohol misuse view intentions as the best predictor of behaviour, based upon the view that cognition guides behaviour. However, intentions are a fairly poor predictor of behaviour. Instead of explaining behaviour in terms of brain functioning and putting the brain before behaviour, an ecological approach places the level of explanation at the interplay of brain, body and world. Meaning exists at the relation of an organism to its environment, as suggested by Gibson’s affordance construct. Affordances represent possibilities for action which humans are able to utilise, for instance, certain objects are graspable and individuals can be spoken-to. During stage 1 of this research programme, a non-participant observational study illustrated potential affordances for promoting or inhibiting alcohol consumption within UK licensed premises, from an independent observer’s perspective. During stage 2, a photo-elicitation interview approach uncovered the individual subjectivity that exists between young adults and their drinking environments. A combination of these findings provided a varied concourse of alcohol-related affordances for a q-methodology study. 40 participants ranked 60 statements along a symmetrical grid with ‘strongly disagree’ at one end and ‘strongly agree’ at the other, based on their perceptions of their drinking behaviours and drinking environments. A preliminary factor analysis of these rankings and post-sort interviews uncovered factors which highlighted patterns of subjectivity from individual perceptions of drinking environments and drinking behavior. A focus will be on the conceptual and methodological challenges for this research, including the implications this has for theory, policy and future research

Nathan Keane Gardner (LJMU, UK) – Implicit cognitions tests: a tool for prevention research?
Cannabis is the most widely produced, used, and trafficked illicit drug in the world (UNODCCP, 2011). One of the main challenges in drugs research is understanding why people engage in behaviours despite possessing knowledge that it is detrimental to their health. Explicit measures, like attitudes, knowledge, and use expectancies, have been primarily used to predict behavioural outcomes of drug use (von Sydow et al., 2002). Despite their extensive use, explicit measures have considerable limitations, including participants’ self-presentation efforts for answers to be aligned with social convention, and lack of introspection and knowledge regarding the underlying mechanisms that contribute to behaviour (Nisbett & Wilson, 1977; Schwarz, 1999; Schwarz & Oyserman, 2001). Theories regarding behaviour suggest that a dual-process model of “rational” and “impulsive” processes jointly predict behaviour (Strack and Deutsch, 2004), an indication that the sole use of explicit measures (rational processes) to predict behavioural outcomes may be insufficient.

Prevention efforts often use screening tools to deliver tailored-interventi
ons to individuals (Conrod et al., 2010). Results of this study (N = 40) explore explicit measures of impulsivity and cannabis effect expectancies and how predictive they are of cannabis use outcomes in comparison to implicit measures of impulsivity (Affect Misattribution Procedure; Payne et al., 2005) and cannabis expectancies (Single-item IAT; (Greenwald et al., 1998, Dekker et al., 2009) in a sample of young people (18-35 years-old) who use cannabis weekly. Furthermore, the implications for prevention research and the feasibility of using implicit cognitions tests as a prevention screening tool will be discussed.

Fourth EUSPR Conference – Plenary Speakers and Programme

We are extremely pleased that our plenary speakers for the Fourth EUSPR Conference will be:

  • Prof Frances Gardner, University of Oxford, (UK) – What factors are likely to moderate the outcomes of family based prevention?
  • Dr Federica Vigna-Taglianti, University of Torino, (IT) – The influence of gender on moderating prevention outcomes
  • Prof Linda Collins, Penn State University, (USA) – Multiphase optimisation strategies for complex interventions
  • Dr Franco Sassi, OECD – Challenges of economic evaluation in Prevention

Plus we have a moderated debate on Contextual factors affecting prevention,
a large number of parallel sessions on a range of prevention and research topics, lunch activities, and a guided poster session.

The moderated debate features contributions from Dr Jeanne Poduska (USA), Dr Kasia Okulicz-Kozaryn (PL), and Mr Frederick Groeger-Roth (DE).

See the programme for further details.

With pre-conference workshops and Early Career Poster prizes supported by the Science for Prevention Academic Network (SPAN). Poster prizes totalling €500, are to be awarded to the best posters by PhD students and Early Career Researchers.

To assist with advertising the conference and ensure that it is a success, we would be very grateful if you can distribute the conference flyer amongst your networks and colleagues. If you are planning to attend, please register as soon as possible to ensure that we have an accurate idea of the number of delegates attending.

Please contact us if you would like to include any materials in the conference packs.

To find out more and to register, please visit the conference webpage:

Our 2013 conference is co-organised with INPES (Institut national de prévention et d’éducation pour la santé, France), MILDT (Mission interministérielle de lutte contre la drogue et la toxicomanie, France), INCa (Institut National du Cancer, France), and in collaboration with IReSP (Institut de Recherche en Santé Publique, France) and Aviesan (Alliance nationale pour les sciences de la vie et de la sante, France).

We look forward to seeing you in Paris!

Transportability of EBP

The transportability of evidence-based programmes: conceptual issues and empirical examples

Dr Nick Axford, Dr Vashti Berry, Prof Frances Gardner

Most rigorous trials of evidence-based programmes are undertaken in a few high-income countries – mostly the US. Policy makers across Europe are increasingly interested in importing such programmes. This is unsurprising: arguably it is not feasible for each country to (re-)invent its own programmes. However, there have been several failures to replicate across countries. Programmes that worked in the US have not been as effective in Europe. Why is this, and what can be done about it?

This symposium involves four papers. The first outlines the main issues, drawing on a systematic review of the transportability of evidence-based parenting interventions for reducing child problem behaviour. It examines various factors that could potentially affect transportability, including: the nature/quality of the intervention; the fidelity of implementation; the degree of programme developer involvement; the design/execution of the study; the nature of the comparison group; cultural congruence; and the policy/practice context.

The next two papers examine these issues in relation to discrete programmes. One looks at a case of successful transportability, namely the implementation and evaluation by randomised controlled trial (RCT) of the Incredible Years programme in Wales and Birmingham. The other concerns an example of apparent unsuccessful transportability, namely the implementation and RCT evaluation of the PATHS social-emotional learning programme in Birmingham.

The final paper considers the ongoing implementation and RCT evaluation of the Finnish KiVa bullying prevention programme in Wales, focusing on the steps taken to learn from previous examples – like those discussed above – and increase the likelihood of successful transportability.