Description — Disease Risk Reduction WaySafe Intervention

About this intervention

WaySafe is a manualized planning and decision-making intervention designed to help incarcerated people in the last phase of substance abuse treatment make better decisions around health risk behaviors, especially involving HIV risks, during the critical transition period after their return to the community. Sessions are conducted in groups by a trained counselor and include a variety of group-based and participatory activities. The 6 weekly sessions included in WaySafe are: (1) Introduction to Mapping and include participants working on group maps while learning mapping principles, (2) Risk and Reasons which addresses risk taking and includes having subgroups each working on maps around different aspects of using or not using condoms, (3) The Game in which participants form teams and play a quiz game around facts related to HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis B and C (HBV/HCV), (4) The Should/Want Problem has teams of participants coming up with reasons why they would want to engage in a risky activity or what they should do regarding the risky activity, (5) Risk Scenes which teaches thinking about, planning, and rehearsing intentions regarding risk activities, and (6) Planning for Risks in which participants are asked to imagine themselves in the future having avoided HIV/HBV/HCV and asking them what advice they would send to their “present” self to avoid infection. Participant workbooks, distributed at the end of each session, include activities and exercises participants are asked to complete on their own to prepare for the following week’s session.

After completion of the 6-session WaySafe curriculum, participants are provided with one of two self-directed Toolkits to complete when released back into the community – the Keep it Safe Toolkit which includes five assignments designed to reinforce lessons learned in WaySafe, and HIV Safety Information which includes a set of four easy-to-read assignments to help participants keep themselves and those they care about safe.

This intervention was developed as part of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Grant R01DA025885

Recommended Citation: Bartholomew, N. G., Dansereau, D. F., Knight, K., & Simpson, D. D. (2009). WaySafe! Mapping your way to a healthy future. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University, Institute of Behavioral Research.