Use of Opinion Leaders and Intensive Training to Implement Evidence-Based Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment in the Community

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Book Chapter

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substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, technology transfer, opinion leader, manualized treatment

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Although several evidence-based substance abuse treatment interventions have been developed in recent years, efforts to translate this new knowledge to practice settings have been largely discouraging. The current study examines results froma SAMHSA/CSAT-funded Practice Improvement Collaborative project in Tampa, Florida, developed to facilitate the implementation of an evidence-based manualized treatment approach for clients with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. A quasi-experimental design was used to examine the effectiveness of intensive counselor training sessions and use of peer opinion leaders to monitor and superfise counselor's implementation of the manualized treatment approach, in comparison to a standard training session and resource materials provided to counselors.

A total of 43 counselors in the experimental group and 28 counselors in the comparison group completed baseline and three-month follow-up measures to examine the extent of manual implementation, and changes in treatment practices, attitudes, knowledge acquisition, and work-related behaviors related to co-occurring disorders treatment. Findings indicate a significantly higher rate of manual implementation among counselors who received a structured series of opinion leader-facilitated training and consultative activities, in comparison to counselors who received only a traditional training workshop. The experimental group also indicated significantly greater use of evidence-based practices in their work from the baseline to follow-up period, relative to comparison group counselors, although group differences were not detected in attitudinal change or knowledge acquisition. Results provide evidence for the effectiveness of enhanced training regimens that are coupled with use of peer opinion leaders in implementing evidence-based practices in community substance abuse treatment settings.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Use of Opinion Leaders and Intensive Training to Implement Evidence-Based Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment, in the Community in E. Edmundson Jr. & D. McCarty (Eds.), Implementing Evidence-Based Practice for Treatment of Alcohol and Drug Disorders, p. 53-74