Case Study

EVERFI Demonstrates the Effectiveness of Its Prescription Drug Safety Course Through a Randomized Control Trial

How Lynch Research Associates conducted a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) to generate the empirically-backed findings EVERFI needed.

The Challenge

EVERFI wanted to validate its claims with unimpeachable data.

EVERFI’s Prescription Drug Safety (PDS) Course is a 6-module online course designed to be administered in schools for students in grades 9 through 12. Over 200,00 students have completed the course, and EVERIFI’s internal data suggested the course had strong positive effects.

EVERFI wanted to validate their claims with unimpeachable data.

That’s where Lynch Research Associates came in.

Our Approach

We deployed the gold standard in scientific inquiry – a rigorous randomized control trial.

Lynch Research Associates designed a randomized control trial (RCT) in which teachers were assigned to a treatment or control group.

  • In the treatment group, teachers administered the EVERFI PDS curriculum as they normally would and asked students to complete a “pre-survey” prior to starting the curriculum and a “post-survey” once the curriculum was completed. In addition, we administered a third survey (i.e., a Time 3 survey) one month after students completed the PDS curriculum.
  • In the control group, teachers had students complete a “pre-survey,” wait for two weeks, then complete a “post-survey.”

Next, we recruited 94 teachers and 2,325 students to participate in the RCT. Our team executed the RCT, collecting and managing all data, ensuring that the study was administered as designed and that participants completed all components of the study.

Once the data was in, the work was just getting started. We managed and cleaned all data within our own platform. It was imperative that EVERFI could stand confidently by the results (whatever they were!), so we designed a rigorous statistical approach and put these data through meticulous analysis.

The Conclusion

The data confirmed EVERFI’s claims.

The results of the RTC showed that the PDS curriculum worked extremely well. Students in the treatment group demonstrated larger increases in sense of personal responsibility, knowledge, healthy actions, and refusal skills and larger changes in perceptions of social norms than students in the control group.

The results of the Time 3 survey showed that the positive effects of the PDS program were maintained up to a month later.

Dr. Dan Zapp, Senior Director, Research & Evaluation at EVERFI, said, “Despite our limitations of budget and time, Lynch Research Associates delivered with flying colors on our shared project. I could not have been more pleased with their preparedness, hard work, professionalism, and final results.”

Once the study was complete, the next step was to submit our work for review in the larger scientific community and disseminate our findings to allow high schools interested in using an evidence-based prescription drug misuse curriculum to have access to this important research. We submitted a manuscript describing our approach, methodology, analyses, and conclusions to an open access peer-reviewed journal. The manuscript was accepted and published in Child & Youth Care Forum on February 4, 2023.