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Direct Care Workers in the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network: Characteristics, Opinions, and Beliefs.

Psychiatric Services 2007;58(2):181-190. DOI: 10.1176/

Dennis McCarty, PhD (Oregon Health & Science University, OR/HI Node), Bret E. Fuller, PhD (Oregon Health & Science University, OR/HI Node), Cynthia L. Arfken, PhD (Wayne State University, GL Node), Michael Miller, PhD (The Village South, Inc., FL Node), Edward V. Nunes, MD (Columbia University, LI Node), Eldon Edmundson, Jr., PhD (Oregon Health & Science University, OR/HI Node), Marc L. Copersino, PhD (McLean Hospital, NNE Node), Anthony S. Floyd, PhD (University of Washington, PN Node), Robert F. Forman, PhD (University of Pennsylvania, DV Node), Reesa Laws, BS (Kaiser Permanente, OR/HI Node), Kathryn M. Magruder, PhD, MPH (Medical University of South Carolina, SC Node), Mark Oyama, BA (Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, PR Node), Kristi Prather, BS (McLean Hospital, NNE Node), Jody L. Sindelar, PhD (Yale University School of Medicine, NE Node), William W. Wendt, JD (Signal Behavioral Health Network, Denver).

For this study, individuals with direct care responsibilities in drug abuse treatment units were surveyed to obtain a description of the workforce and to assess support for evidence-based therapies. These surveys were distributed to 112 programs participating in the National Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network (CTN). Descriptive analyses characterized the workforce, and analyses of covariance tested the effects of job category on opinions about evidence-based practices and controlled for the effects of education, modality (outpatient or residential), race, and gender. The analyses determined that women make up two-thirds of the CTN workforce, one-third of the workforce had a master's or doctoral degree, and one-third were from racial or ethnic minority groups, characteristics that seem to be consistent with data from previous assessments of the clinical workforce. In terms of support for evidence-based therapies, managers-supervisors were the most supportive, with support staff the least supportive. Generally, individuals with graduate degrees also tended to have the more positive opinions about evidence-based therapies. Support for using medications and contingency management was modest across job categories. In conclusion, it appears that the relatively traditional beliefs of support staff could inhibit the introduction of evidence-based practices, thus, programs initiating changes in therapeutic approaches may benefit from including all employees in change efforts. A commentary on this article, written by Henrick Harwood, is also available. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2007)

Keywords: Attitudes of health personnel | Evidence-based treatment | Psychiatric Services (journal)

Document No: 168, PMID: 17287373, PMCID: PMC2861362

Submitted by the Dennis McCarty, PhD, Principal Investigator, OR/HI Node (2/9/2007).

Arfken, Cynthia L. search mail
Copersino, Marc L. search mail
Edmundson, Eldon Jr. search mail
Floyd, Anthony S. search mail
Forman, Robert F. search mail
Fuller, Bret E. search mail
Laws, Reesa search mail
Magruder, Kathryn M. search mail
McCarty, Dennis search mail
Miller, Michael search mail
Nunes, Edward V. search mail
Oyama, Mark search mail
Prather, Kristi search mail
Sindelar, Jody L. search mail
Wendt, William W. search
NIDA-CTN-0008 search www
All Nodes and CTPs were asked to participate in this protocol.

Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
The materials on this site have neither been created nor reviewed by NIDA.
Updated 5/2010 --