INTRODUCTION: We 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. MATERIALS AND METHODS: One-third of U.S. Air Force bases worldwide were randomly assigned to NORTH STAR (n = 12) or an assessment-and-feedback-only condition (n = 12). 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: NORTH STAR, relative to control, bases experienced a 33% absolute risk reduction in hazardous drinking rates and cumulative risk, although, given the small number of bases, these effects were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: 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.
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