ABSTRACT Objective: To improve an early intervention (EI) triggered by the Adolescents' Substance Use Measurement (ADSUME) as a method to prevent substance abuse among adolescents. We assessed how ADSUME and EI work in practice and how EI could be improved.
Design and sample: School health nurses (n=10) tested ADSUME and EI on 14- to 18-year-old adolescents (n=228). Six months later, these nurses and their professional partners were invited to assess EI in focus group interviews.
Methods: Four focus group interviews involving a total of 24 nurses and partners were implemented. Interview data were analyzed with qualitative content analysis.
Results: ADSUME concretized assessment, activated profound dialogue, and proved to be an important part of EI. It was important to assess the adolescent's resources in addition to the ADSUME score. EI worked well in confidential dialogues after the adolescent and the PHN reached a consensus on the level of concern about the adolescent's substance use. The recommended EI enabled individual brief intervention in all four stages of substance use, from abstinence or experimental use to hazardous use.
Conclusions: EI was improved practically, and the contents of the intervention were reformulated. It is important to integrate EI with the preventive efforts of the school.