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From the CTN Special Issue of American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Read the other articles here.




How Practice and Science Are Balanced and Blended in the NIDA Clinical Trials Network: The Bidirectional Process in the Development of the STAGE-12 Protocol as an Example.

American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 2011;37(5):408-416. [doi: 10.3109/00952990.2011.596970]

Dennis M. Donovan, PhD (Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, PN Node), Dennis C. Daley, PhD, LSW (Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinica, AT Node), Gregory S. Brigham, PhD (Maryhaven, Inc., OV Node), Candace C. Hodgkins, PhD, LMHC (Gateway Community Services, Inc., FNA Node), Harold I. Perl, PhD (Center for the Clinical Trials Network, NIDA), Anthony S. Floyd, PhD (University of Washington, PN Node).

Bidirectional, collaborative partnerships between academic researchers and practitioners have been a fundamental vehicle to achieve the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) goal of improving outcomes of community-based drug treatment. These partnerships blend clinical perspectives of practitioners and methodological expertise of researchers working together to address clinically meaningful issues through randomized clinical trials conducted in community treatment settings. Though bidirectionality is a guiding principle of the CTN, its operationlization at the practical level in protocol development and implementation has not been articulated. This article describes the development of one protocol as an example and model of this bidirectional, collaborative, iterative partnership between researchers and practitioners (protocol CTN-0039). The STAGE-12 protocol, a behavioral intervention to facilitate 12-step mutual support group involvement, was successfully developed through a series of decisions taking into account both design factors and clinical practice needs and realities, thus maintaining a balance between methodological rigor and generalizability.

Conclusions: This review demonstrates the process by which research and practice have been blended in protocol development, exemplifying the underlying principle of bidirectionality, a key element in the success of the NIDA CTN. Bidirectional partnerships as derived in the CTN, employing a hybrid model of efficacy-effectiveness research, are capable of designing and implementing protocols that are both methodologically rigorous and clinically meaningful, thus increasing likelihood of adoption and eventual improvement in public health. (Article (Peer-Reviewed), PDF, English, 2011)

Keywords: Behavior therapy | Community health services | Counselors | CTN protocol development | Group therapy | Research design | Twelve-Step Programs | American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse (journal)

Document No: 727, PMID: 21854284, PMCID: PMC3260794.

Submitted by CTN Dissemination Librarians, 8/23/2011.


Brigham, Gregory S. mail
Daley, Dennis C. mail
Donovan, Dennis M. mail
Floyd, Anthony S. mail
Hodgkins, Candace C. mail
Perl, Harold I. mail
NIDA-CTN-0031 www

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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.
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