Category: Dissemination / Implementation

Symposium

Symposium 12 - Promotion of Evidence-Based Treatments for Youth Through State and Local Policy Initiatives

Friday, November 17
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom A, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Implementation | Dissemination | Public Policy
Presentation Type: Symposium

Despite substantial progress in the development of evidence-based treatments (EBTs) for youth mental health problems, such treatments are not widely available in community settings and thus have limited public health impact. In response, state and local government agencies are beginning to establish policies that mandate, incentivize, or otherwise encourage the use of EBTs (Bruns et al., 2015). The large-scale implementation initiatives that result from these efforts provide opportunities to study the impact of policy on the dissemination and implementation process (Beidas et al., 2015), an intersection that is increasingly emphasized in research on implementation context (e.g., Context and Implementation of Complex Interventions framework; Pfadenhauer et al., 2017). This symposium will present four studies that examined the impact of policies that promoted youth-focused EBTs in geographically diverse behavioral health and child welfare systems. First, Alex Dopp will present results from a cost-benefit analysis of the statewide implementation of multisystemic therapy, an EBT for serious juvenile offenders, in New Mexico. The results of this study demonstrate that a policy promoting use of an EBT produced considerable savings to taxpayers and crime victims as well as the state’s Medicaid system (i.e., over $70,000 per youth). Next, Vanesa Ringle will report findings from a study that examined compliance of mental health providers in one Texas county with a statewide policy that mandates use of youth-focused EBTs. The study found that providers frequently deviated from clinical practice guidelines by providing lower-intensity treatments, which is concerning because treatment intensity was positively associated with youth symptom improvement. Third, Suzanne Kerns will describe results from a survey of youth-focused EBT implementation costs in 12 community behavioral health agencies. Incremental costs of implementation were modest, but also immediate, across 11 youth-focused EBT models, indicating that policies mandating use of these treatments can have a considerable economic impact on provider agencies. Finally, Cole Hooley will report on qualitative data collected from meetings of collaborative advisory boards during implementation of The 4 Rs and 2 Ss for Strengthening Families Program, an EBT for disruptive behavior disorders, in Maryland and New York child welfare agencies. This study found that task-shifting of intervention delivery to child welfare professionals is promising, but also identified numerous organizational and policy barriers to use of such novel implementation strategies. Following these presentations, the findings will be summarized and contextualized by our discussant, Dr. Shannon Wiltsey Stirman, who is an expert in implementation science and policy initiatives related to EBTs. Dr. Stirman’s discussion will provide perspectives on policies designed to promote EBTs, as well as the implications of the present studies for future policy-making and implementation initiatives.

Learning Objectives:

Alex R. Dopp

Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Alex Dopp

Shannon Stirman

Psychologist/Implementation Scientist
Stanford University

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Shannon Stirman

Alex R. Dopp

Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Alex Dopp

Vanesa Ringle

Graduate student
University of Miami

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Vanesa Ringle

Suzanne Kerns

Research Associate Professor
University of Denver

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Suzanne Kerns

Cole Hooley

Washington University in St. Louis

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Cole Hooley


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