ready4life: A Digital Life-skills Program for Substance Use Prevention Among Adolescents

ready4life: A Digital Life-skills Program for Substance Use Prevention Among Adolescents

Substance use is one of the biggest contributors to the health burden in 10-24-year olds. School-based life-skills trainings were effective in delaying or preventing problematic substance use among adolescents, but the implementation and dissemination of scalable and low-cost public health interventions represent serious challenges.

ready4life addresses these issues by providing a 6-month web- and text messaging-based life-skills training to prevent problematic substance use among adolescents. All prospective participants perform a dynamic web-based baseline survey on tablets/smartphones to identify participants and to collect baseline variables. Afterwards, they get an instant and individual feedback for each participant including statistics and graphs. In the following monitoring and intervention phase with a duration of 24 weeks the participants are dynamically guided based on 524 messaging rules and 68 groups with 607 placeholder messages, supported by quizzes, games, intermediate surveys and social web challenges.

The technical basis for this digital health intervention is MobileCoach ( The participation closes with a dynamic web-based final survey on the participants smartphone to collect final variables and get feedback on the intervention itself.



Haug, S., Paz, R., Wenger, A. & Schaub M. P. (2018) Efficacy of a mobile phone-based life-skills training program for substance use prevention among adolescents: study protocol of a cluster-randomised controlled trial, BMC Public Health 18:1102. PDF

Haug, S., Paz, R., Meyer, C., Filler, A., Kowatsch, T., Schaub, M.P. (2017) A Mobile Phone-Based Life Skills Training Program for Substance Use Prevention Among Adolescents: Pre-Post Study on the Acceptance and Potential Effectiveness of the Program Ready4life, JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 5(10):e143. PDF

Filler, A., Kowatsch, T., Haug, S., Wahle, F., Staake, T. & Fleisch, E. (2015) MobileCoach: A Novel Open Source Platform for the Design of Evidence-based, Scalable and Low-Cost Behavioral Health Interventions – Overview and Preliminary Evaluation in the Public Health Context. Wireless Telecommunications Symposium 2015 (WTS 2015), New York, USA. ***Outstanding Paper Award & Best Graduate Student Paper Award*** PDF

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Working Group

Andreas Filler & Tobias Kowatsch


Mar 2016 – Jun 2017