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The Impact of NORTH STAR on Suicidality, Substance Problems, Intimate-Partner Violence, and Child Abuse

NCJ Number
Military Medicine Volume: 186 Issue: 3-4 Dated: 2021 Pages: e351-e358
Date Published
8 pages

This report describes an examination of the efficacy of NORTH STAR in reducing the prevalence of several secretive adult problems such as hazardous drinking or prescription drug misuse; it lays out the authors’ methodology, outcomes, and implications for practice.


The authors evaluated the effectiveness of New Orientation for Reducing Threats to Health from Secretive-problems That Affect Readiness (NORTH STAR), a community assessment, planning, and action framework to reduce the prevalence of suicidality, substance problems, intimate partner violence, and child abuse. The authors report on materials and methods, stating that one-third of U.S. Air Force bases worldwide were randomly assigned to NORTH STAR or an assessment-and-feedback-only condition. Two Air Force-wide, cross-sectional, anonymous, web-based surveys were conducted of randomly selected samples assessing risk/protective factors and outcomes. This study was reviewed and approved by the institutional review board at the investigators’ university and by the institutional review board at Fort Detrick. Results indicated that NORTH STAR bases, relative to the controls, experienced a 33 percent absolute risk reduction in hazardous drinking rates and cumulative risk, although, given the small number of bases, these effects were not statistically significant. The authors conclude that, given its relatively low cost, use of empirically supported light-touch interventions, and emphasis on sustainability with existing resources, NORTH STAR may be a useful system for prevention of a range of adult behavioral health problems that are difficult to impact. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2021