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Do Participant Characteristics Influence the Effectiveness of Behavioral Interventions? Promoting Condom Use to Women

Legardy, Jennifer K. MPH*; Macaluso, Maurizio MD, DrPH*; Artz, Lynn MD, MPH; Brill, Ilene MPH

doi: 10.1097/

Objectives: This study assessed whether participant baseline characteristics modified the effects of a skill-based intervention promoting condom use.

Study: The randomized, controlled trial enrolled 427 women from a sexually transmitted disease clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. The main outcome measures: consistent (100%) and problem-free (correct, no breakage or slippage) condom use were verified by sexual diary self-report and contraceptive product counts.

Results: The enhanced intervention group had a 60% higher consistent condom use rate compared to the basic group (risk ratio [RR], 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4–1.8). There was no statistically significant difference between groups in relationship to problem-free, consistent use (RR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.9–1.1). A binomial regression analysis identified the following factors as significant modifiers of intervention effectiveness on consistent condom use: intention to use condoms next time, early-age sexual debut, marital status combined with place of intercourse, and substance use before sex.

Conclusions: The results suggest that participant baseline characteristics can be modifiers of intervention effectiveness.

A randomized, controlled trial of an intervention promoting condom use to women attending a sexually transmitted disease clinic in Birmingham, AL, identified 4 significant modifiers of the interventions effectiveness.

From the *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Reproductive Health, Atlanta, Georgia; and the †University of Alabama, School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Birmingham, Alabama

This project was carried out under contract with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (contract N01-HD-1–3135). The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the US government.

Correspondence: Jennifer Legardy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NCCDPHP, DRH, WHFB, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Mailstop K-34, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724. E-mail:

Received for publication June 21, 2004, and accepted March 15, 2005.

© Copyright 2005 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association