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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Design of study without drugs—a Surinamese school-based drug-prevention program for adolescents

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Fariel Ishaak, Nanne Karel de Vries, Kees van der Wolf
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12889-015-2374-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Kees van der Wolf deceased.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

FI developed the program and materials, led the analysis and interpretation, and drafted the manuscript. DV and VdW participated in supervision of the program design. All the authors have read, revised, and approved the final manuscript. All the authors contributed to the study design.



The aim of this study was to design the content and accompanying materials for a school-based program—Study without Drugs—for adolescents in junior secondary schools in Suriname based on the starting points and tasks of the fourth step of the Intervention Mapping protocol (which consists of six steps). A program based on this protocol should include a combination of theory, empirical evidence, and qualitative and quantitative research.


Two surveys were conducted when designing the program. In Survey I, teachers and students were asked to complete a questionnaire to determine which school year they thought would be most appropriate for implementing a drug-prevention program for adolescents (we completed a similar survey as part of previous research). An attempt was made to identify suitable culturally sensitive elements to include in the program. In Survey II, the same teachers were asked to complete a questionnaire to determine the programs’ scope, sequence, structure, and topics as well as the general didactic principles to serve as a basis for program design. After outlining the program plan, lessons, and materials, we conducted a formative pretest evaluation among teachers, students, and parents. That evaluation included measures related to the program’s attractiveness, comprehensibility, and usefulness. The resulting lessons were presented to the teachers for assessment.


The drug-prevention program we developed comprises 10 activities and lasts 2–2.5 months in an actual school setting. The activities take place during Dutch, biology, physical education, art, religion, and social studies lessons. We based the structure of the lessons in the program on McGuire’s Persuasion Communication Model, which takes into account important didactic principles. Evaluations of the program materials and lesson plans by students, teachers, and parents were mostly positive.


We believe that using the fourth step of the Intervention Mapping protocol to develop a drug-prevention intervention for adolescents has a produced promising, feasible program.
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