Implementing evidence-based practices in community treatment programs: Initial feasibility of a counselor “toolkit”

TitleImplementing evidence-based practices in community treatment programs: Initial feasibility of a counselor “toolkit”
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsCarise, D, Brooks, A, Alterman, A, McLellan, TA, Hoover, V, Forman, R
JournalSubstance Abuse
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place PublishedUnited Kingdom
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0889-70771547-0164
Accession Number2009-10683-004. First Author & Affiliation: Carise, Deni
KeywordsCommunity Services, community treatment programs, counselor satisfaction, counselor toolkit feasibility, counselors, Drug Rehabilitation, evidence based practice, evidence based practices, Health Personnel Attitudes, motivational interviewing, substance abuse treatment programs

Community substance abuse treatment programs face many barriers to adopting “evidence-based” therapies. Training budgets are inadequate to permit acquisition of complex skills, there is little clinical supervision available, and almost all counseling is done in group sessions. The authors adopted an approach widely used in the teaching field—developing a resource “toolkit” for a specific topic, in this case, a Decisional Balance exercise often used in the evidence-based treatment approach of Motivational Interviewing. This trial toolkit was comprised of a DVD (televised during group to illustrate the clinical concept), a laminated counselor guide (to provide guidance and talking points for the counselor during group), and some worksheets and wallet cards for patients to retain key points (see Table 1). A feasibility trial assessed the acceptability, and sustainability of the “Decisional Balance” concept toolkit among 26 counselors and 210 of their patients, from 6 community-based substance abuse treatment programs. The great majority of patients (97%) and all counselors (100%) reported they were satisfied with the toolkit session; 84% of patients said they would like more groups like the toolkit session. Almost all counselors (96%) were still using at least one component of the toolkit 3 months after their initial exposure with no prompting. The toolkit curriculum–based approach may be a viable and attractive way of translating core concepts from sophisticated evidence-based therapies into use by counselors within contemporary, community-based treatment programs with minimal training. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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