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WayToServe Plus

WayToServe Plus

Among effective interventions to reduce driving while intoxicated (DWI) by alcohol, Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training of alcohol servers has shown promise. RBS training is currently required or incentivized by 36 states and California will require it starting in 2022.

Klein Buendel and its research collaborators from the University of New Mexico and the Pacific  Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) have shown that an online RBS training, named WayToServe®, was effective in two randomized research trials. WayToServe is currently commercially available in multiple states in English and Spanish.

Now, researchers from Klein Buendel and PIRE are launching a new research project funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA029364) to develop and test an in-service professional development component for alcohol servers trained by WayToServe to enhance its effectiveness. It is intended to motivate servers to implement the RBS skills in the face of common barriers, provide support for RBS actions from a “community” of alcohol servers, and prevent natural degradation of skills over time. The in-service component – WayToServe Plus – will be delivered through the WayToServe Facebook page that currently is followed by over 20,000 alcohol servers trained by WayToServe.

The Fast-Track SBIR project will complete a 12-month Phase I feasibility study and a 2-year Phase II effectiveness trial in New Mexico and Washington State. The primary outcome will be the effect of WayToServe Plus on refusal of sales to pseudo-intoxicated patrons. The research will be led by Dr. David Buller and Dr. Gill Woodall (Multiple Principal Investigators) from Klein Buendel, and Dr. Robert Saltz from PIRE.

This research is innovative as WayToServe Plus will be the first continuous in-service professional development for RBS training and will increase the WayToServe training’s effectiveness and commercial advantage with alcohol servers and corporate clients.

New Study to Assess the Impact of California’s Mandatory Responsible Beverage Service Training Law

New Study to Assess the Impact of California’s Mandatory Responsible Beverage Service Training Law

Klein Buendel is collaborating with Dr. Robert Saltz and his team from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) in California on a new research project to assess the impact of California’s new mandatory Responsible Beverage Service training law intended to prevent alcohol-involved motor vehicle crashes and other harms.  

Intoxicated driving continues to play a significant role in automobile accidents and fatalities. In response, California passed the Responsible Beverage Service Training Act of 2017. According to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the law requires alcoholic beverage servers in California to attend responsible beverage service (RBS) training by July 1, 2022. Alcoholic beverage servers will be trained on the dangers of overserving alcohol to patrons in an effort to curb alcohol-related harm within local communities, particularly in regards to drunk driving and alcohol-related crimes. This change in law creates a new statewide mandate for licensees and a new training requirement for an estimated 1 million servers.

The new research study will examine whether there is a significant reduction in single nighttime motor vehicle injury crashes after implementation of the mandatory RBS training law, controlling for other factors in California that may influence this outcome, and the national trend in fatal alcohol-involved motor vehicle crashes. A second aim will address the question of whether the state mandate could have greater impact through wider use of high-quality evidence-based RBS training, or through RBS training supplemented by boosting management motivation to support the training objectives. The training program that will be implemented is the WayToServe® (WTS) online RBS training program developed and evaluated by PIRE, Klein Buendel, and the University of New Mexico. Currently, WTS is licensed to and sold by Wedge Communications LLC in multiple states.

A randomized controlled trial design will be used to examine the change in the refusal rate for alcohol service to pseudo-intoxicated patrons in a sample of 450 licensed on-premises bars and restaurants from 2020 (baseline) to 2024 (post-implementation of mandatory RBS training law). The evaluation will determine whether any change is more pronounced among bars that receive the original WTS RBS Training or the enhanced WTS Training Plus program. A significant feature of this design is that unlike previous evaluations of RBS training, this project will be able to document both short-term and long-term outcomes.  This is especially important for a statewide implementation where it cannot be known in advance how quickly or slowly servers will undertake the training, and how quickly, if at all, the training will have an effect on server behavior.

This research project will be funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Dr. Robert Saltz, Principal Investigator). Collaborators include Dr. David Buller and Dr. W. Gill Woodall from Klein Buendel.

Way to Serve Sells 100,000 Trainings

Way to Serve Sells 100,000 Trainings

WayToServe®, an evidence-based online responsible alcohol server training program, has sold its 100,000th training!

WayToServe was created by scientists and developers from the University of New Mexico, the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, and Klein Buendel. The engaging, media-rich program was initially evaluated in a controlled randomized trial that resulted in high trainee satisfaction and increased refusal of sales to intoxicated patrons. WayToServe was licensed to Wedge Communications, LLC and launched into the online marketplace in 2012. To date, WayToServe has been tailored and approved for sale and certification of trainers in California, Texas, Washington, and New Mexico.

To meet the needs of Spanish-speakers, Klein Buendel is currently testing a companion program, WayToServe Español. “WayToServe Español es muy importante! It could help saves lives,” said Dr. W. Gill Woodall, the project’s director. The unique Spanish-language training program will be on the market in 2021.

The original WayToServe program was funded by two grants from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to the University of New Mexico (AA014982 and AA016606; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator). The WayToServe Español program is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MD010405; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, KB Senior Scientist, Principal Investigator).

Alcohol Sale Refusals to Pseudo-Intoxicated Patrons In Primarily Spanish-Speaking Premises

Alcohol Sale Refusals to Pseudo-Intoxicated Patrons In Primarily Spanish-Speaking Premises

Klein Buendel Senior Scientist Dr. W. Gill Woodall presented data on alcohol over-service from the WayToServe-Español project on a panel discussion at the 42nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism held in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 22-26, 2019.

The over-service of alcohol to individuals who show signs of intoxication is problematic for public health because it contributes to drunk driving and alcohol-related injury and death. In addition, little is known about alcohol over-service in premises where business is conducted primarily in Spanish because these alcohol service situations have been understudied.

Dr. Woodall presented data from a baseline assessment of a randomized trial that investigated Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training in predominately Spanish-speaking premises in Texas and New Mexico. The research provides a unique opportunity to contrast two states and communities with similar populations, but different alcohol policies and practices.

Hispanic confederates were trained to enact evidence-based signs of intoxication while attempting to purchase an alcoholic beverage in Spanish. Over-service was measured using a pseudo-intoxicated patron protocol. Baseline refusal rates were 12% in Texas and 34% in New Mexico. On the panel, Dr. Woodall discussed the implications of these baseline data for RBS training in minority communities and alcohol policy.

This research is funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (MD010405; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Klein Buendel, Principal Investigator). Collaborating co-authors on the presentation included Dr. Robert Saltz from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel, Dr. Victoria Sanchez and Dr. Randall Starling from the University of New Mexico, and Dr. Areli Chacon Silva and Dr. Frank Perez from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Klein Buendel Opens a Second Location

Klein Buendel Opens a Second Location

Klein Buendel is pleased to announce the opening of its first satellite location in New Mexico. The new Albuquerque office will house Klein Buendel Senior Scientist Dr. Gill Woodall and a small staff, to conduct multiple health communication and behavior research projects with people in New Mexico and Texas.

The Vacteens project aims to raise the public health profile of human papillomavirus (HPV), increase the need for responsible health services, and examine the cost-effectiveness of risk-based screening to pave the way for the development of new strategies for the prevention of HPV-induced cancers. The objectives of the project are to develop and evaluate a mobile web app to encourage HPV vaccination in New Mexico, an ethnically-diverse state. Current ongoing randomized controlled efficacy trials with parents and their adolescent children in New Mexico clinics provide data to determine the impact of these mobile web apps on informed decision making and uptake for the HPV vaccine. This research was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA210125; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator). Collaborators include Dr. Alberta Kong, Dr. Lance Chilton, and Dr. Tamar Ginossar from the University of New Mexico; Dr. Greg Zimet from Indiana University; and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel.

B-SMART is a project aimed at reducing intoxicated driving by people with court-ordered ignition interlock devices (IIDs) through improved communication and support from family members. Using smartphone web app technology, B-SMART teaches coping skills, communication skills, and strategies to help deter Driving While Impaired (DWI). Unique to this intervention are the involvement of family members in supporting the DWI offender to not drink and drive, English and Spanish language options, and the use of smartphone technology to make that support immediate, accessible, and diffusible. The research is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA022850; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator) through the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). Collaborators include Dr. Barbara McCrady and Dr. Vern Westerberg from the University of New Mexico; Dr. Gary Cutter from Pythagorus, Inc. in Alabama; and Julia Berteletti from Klein Buendel.

WayToServe Espanol: A Culturally-Appropriate Online Responsible Beverage Service Training for Spanish-Speaking Servers is a redesign of WayToServe®, an evidence-based training to promote responsible alcohol beverage service (RBS). WayToServe Espanol was created after discovering current RBS training had not been tailored to address Spanish-speaking populations that represent disproportionately high rates of alcohol-related injury and death in the United States. This project promotes a culturally and linguistically adapted RBS training for Spanish-speaking servers, and changes to organizational and community norms because preventing alcohol-related injury and death is a national priority. This research is funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (MD010405; Dr. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator) through the SBIR. Collaborators include Dr. Victoria Sanchez from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center; and Dr. Areli Chacon Silva and Dr. Frank Perez from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Frank Pérez

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Frank Pérez

Image courtesy of UTEP

Frank G. Pérez, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Communication and Research at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He is currently a collaborator working with Klein Buendel scientists, Dr. Gill Woodall and Dr. David Buller, on WayToServe® Español: A Culturally-Appropriate Online Responsible Beverage Service Training for Spanish-Speaking Servers project, funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Pérez will assist with the creation of culturally-appropriate content and the translation of the WayToServe online training program into Spanish and to ensure the translation is compatible with the needs and values of alcohol servers in Spanish language-dominant bars and restaurants. The randomized control trial will take place at Spanish-dominant businesses in the Southwestern region of the United States.

At UTEP Dr. Pérez ’s research includes Intercultural communication, popular culture, Chicano studies, identity issues and the Master of Leadership Studies programs. He also conducts research in intercultural health with a focus on Latina/Latino populations in relation to alcohol use. He is also the lead instructor of the UTEP-Rare Mater of Arts program, an internationally based program that allows environmental conservation professionals from throughout the developing world to earn a Master of Arts. Students first complete a year of coursework in communication followed by the development, implementation, management, and evaluation of a one-year environmental conservation campaign, often in a rural community.

Dr. Pérez has recently completed a book-length manuscript on the fantasy heritage of Spanish colonizer Juan de Oñate in Southwest tourism. The manuscript examines tourism and how it erases and/or marginalizes Mexican/Americans from memory at popular tourism sites in the Southwest. Dr. Pérez’s research has also appeared in Communication for Development and Social Change Journal, Western Journal of Communication, Communication Yearbook, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and other scholarly outlets.

Results of a Randomized Trial of the Way To Serve Responsible Alcohol Server Training

Results of a Randomized Trial of the Way To Serve Responsible Alcohol Server Training

Alcohol use and misuse is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Alcohol servers may help prevent alcohol-impaired car accidents and other harms by discouraging overconsumption by patrons. Responsible beverage service (RBS) training is designed to improve serving behavior, especially by avoiding selling too many drinks to a patron, refusing sales to intoxicated patrons, and properly checking identification to prevent sales to minors. Positive evaluations of RBS programs have been reported, yet online technologies hold promise for improving training quality, fidelity, cost, and uptake.

In a recent publication in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugsresearchers led by Klein Buendel (KB) Senior Scientist, Dr. W. Gill Woodall, reported the results of a randomized trial of the media-rich, interactive web-based WayToServe® (WTS) RBS training. The study hypothesized that servers who completed the WTS training would refuse alcohol service to apparently-intoxicated patrons at significantly higher rates compared with servers who completed the usual and customary (UC) live training.

In the study, alcohol-serving establishments (such as bars) in New Mexico were randomly assigned to receive WTS training (n=154) or the UC live training (n=155). Establishments were assessed before training, immediately after training, at six months after training, and at one year after training with a pseudo-intoxicated patron protocol (in which buyers were trained to enacting documented behavioral signs of intoxication) to assess premise alcohol service during early to mid-evening hours. The primary outcome variable for the assessment was the proportion of apparently-intoxicated buyers who were refused alcohol service.

Results indicated significantly higher refusal rates for WTS than for UC premises at the immediate (WTS=68% vs. UC=49%) and the one-year post-training assessment points (WTS=68% vs. UC=58%), but not at the six-month post-training assessment (WTS=69% vs. UC=64%). Results also indicated that younger pseudo-patrons were consistently refused more often than older pseudo-patrons. The study concluded that RBS training can be delivered online, broadening the scale of distribution and making it a potentially more cost-effective way to reach alcohol servers with effective and beneficial RBS training.

A full description of the methods, results, and limitations of this study, as well as commentaries by Buvik & Rossow (2018) and Miller (2018), and an author response, can be found in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The research was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA014982; W. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator) at the National Institutes of Health. Collaborators/coauthors includeDr. Randall Starling from the University of New Mexico, Dr. Robert Saltz from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in California, Dr. David Buller from KB, and Dr. Paula Stranghetta from Paula Stanghetta & Associates, Inc. in Ontario, Canada. KB’s Creative Team produced the WayToServe® web-based training. WayToServe® has been licensed to Wedge Communications LLC for commercial sale and distribution.