The effectiveness of a theory-based drama intervention in preventing illegal drug use among students aged 14–15 years in Taiwan

Su Fei Huang, Wan Ling Zheng, Jung Yu Liao, Chiu Mieh Huang, Tsung Yi Lin, Jong Long Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Age of initiation of drug use is closely associated with the risk of developing drug dependence or abuse. Effective programmes are needed to prevent adolescents from using drugs at an early age. The aim of this intervention programme was to prevent adolescents from using illegal drugs by using drama in education (DIE) to convey a universal prevention strategy. Method: We recruited 65 children aged 14–15 years from two junior high schools and assigned them to experimental (n = 34) and comparison (n = 31) groups. The experimental group attended six 45-minute sessions of a DIE preventive programme. The comparison group received traditional didactic teaching. We used a generalised estimating equation (GEE) to analyse the data. Results: GEE analysis revealed that the experimental group showed significant improvements in attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control and drug-free intentions compared with counterparts in the comparison group. Student feedback indicated that DIE method can contribute to the prevention of illegal drug use. Conclusion: Applying DIE method to a theory-based drug prevention programme offers a promising way of increasing the intention to not use illegal drugs among students aged 14–15 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-481
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 1



  • Adolescents
  • drama in education (DIE)
  • drug prevention
  • Taiwan
  • theory of planned behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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