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Agency Context and Tailored Training in Technology Transfer: A Pilot Evaluation of Motivational Interviewing Training for Community Counselors.

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 2009;37(2):191-202. [doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2009.01.003]

John S. Baer, PhD, Elizabeth A. Wells, PhD, David B. Rosengren, PhD, Bryan Hartzler, PhD, Blair Beadnell, PhD, Chris Dunn, PhD (all affiliated with Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, UW, PN Node)

Few empirical studies are available to guide best practices for transferring evidence-based treatments to community substance abuse providers. To maximize the learning and maintenance of new clinical skills, this CTN-platform study tested a context-tailored training (CTT) model, which used standardized patient actors in role-plays tailored to agency clinical context, repetitive cycles of practice and feedback, and enhanced organizational support. The study reports the results of a randomized pilot evaluation of CTT for motivational interviewing (MI). Investigators randomly assigned community substance abuse treatment agencies, all of which had previously participated in the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN), to receive either CTT or a standard 2-day MI workshop. The study also evaluated the effects of counselor-level and organizational-level variables on the learning of MI. No between-condition differences were observed on the acquisition and maintenance of MI skills despite reported higher satisfaction with the more costly context-tailored model. Analyses revealed that those counselors with more formal education and less endorsement of a disease model of addiction made the greatest gains in MI skills, irrespective of training condition. Similarly, agencies whose individual counselors viewed their organization as being more open to change and less supportive of autonomy showed greater average staff gains in MI skills, again, irrespective of training method. Post-training activities within agencies that supported the ongoing learning and implementation of MI mediated the effects of organizational openness to change.

This pilot study suggests that tailored training methods may not produce better outcomes than traditional workshops for the acquisition of evidence-based practice, and that efforts to enhance skill acquisition can be focused on characteristics of learners and ongoing organizational support of learning. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2009)

Keywords: Adoption of interventions | Behavior therapy | Community health services | CTN platform/ancillary study | Dissemination | Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (journal) | Motivational interviewing (MI) | Standardized patients | Training

Document No: 349, PMID: 19339139, PMCID: PMC2737382

Submitted by CTN Dissemination Librarians (4/1/2009).

Baer, John S. search mail
Beadnell, Blair search
Dunn, Chris search mail
Hartzler, Bryan search mail
Rosengren, David B. search mail
Wells, Elizabeth A. search mail

Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
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Updated 9/2010 --