The general process for selecting resources to be included in Positive Choices was as follows:
- A review of the research literature was conducted to identify potential resources. The Cochrane Library, Scopus, PsychINFO, PubMed and Medline databases were searched using specific keywords (e.g., School-based OR school* AND alcohol OR cannabis OR drugs OR ecstasy OR psychostimulants OR amphetamines).
- Additional resources were identified through web searches using specific keywords (e.g., 'alcohol OR drug OR cannabis OR ecstasy’, AND ‘prevention OR education OR schools'), and scoping of national and international drug prevention sites and networks.
- Resources were independently reviewed by our team, and via consultation with teachers, parents and students, who provided feedback about the Positive Choices site and content.
- Only resources of high relevance and quality were selected for inclusion. For these resources, additional searches were conducted to collate the information required for listing on the portal. In cases where sufficient information could not be obtained, additional information was requested from the developers of the resource.
Additional notes regarding selection of specific resource types are provided below:
Drug prevention programs were identified through review of research publications. Programs developed in Australia and internationally were considered for inclusion. However, international programs were only included if the resources could be accessed and implemented in Australia. Programs were only included if benefits of delivering the program were demonstrated in at least one published study. The starting point for selection of resources was two systematic reviews conducted by researchers at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use (formerly the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre):
Champion, K. E., Newton, N. C., Barrett, E. L., & Teesson, M. (2013). A systematic review of school-based alcohol and other drug prevention programs facilitated by computers or the Internet. Drug and Alcohol Review, 32(2), 115-123.
Teesson, M., Newton, N. C., & Barrett, E. L. (2012). Australian school-based prevention programs for alcohol and other drugs: A systematic review. Drug and Alcohol Review, 31(6), 731-736.
Selection of educational games was informed by the following systematic review conducted by researchers at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use (formerly the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre):
Rodriguez, D. M., Teesson, M., & Newton, N. C. (2014). A systematic review of computerised serious educational games about alcohol and other drugs for adolescents. Drug and Alcohol Review, 33(2), 129-135
Additional games were identified through web searches and literature review as described above. Games were excluded if they were not designed for play on a computer.
Videos and Apps:
In most cases, research-based evidence was not available for these types of resources. Independent review of the resource was conducted by researchers at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use (formerly the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre) who considered the accuracy of the information as well as the presentation style and quality. A written summary of this review is provided for each resource under "Evidence Base".