Implementation of an evidence-based modified therapeutic community: Staff and resident perspectives
The widespread successful implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) into community substance abuse settings require a thorough understanding of practitioner and client attitudes toward these approaches. This paper presents the first that we know of a qualitative study that explores staff and resident experience of the change process of a therapeutic community to an evidence-based modified therapeutic community for homeless individuals with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness disorders. The sample consists of 20 participants; 10 staff and 10 residents. Interviews were conducted at the agency, recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were organized and coded from a grounded theory perspective. Themes and patterns of staff and resident experience were identified. The change in program structure from TC to MTC were perceived by staff as efforts to accommodate the particular needs of the homeless individuals with mental and substance abuse disorders and feeling they were inadequately prepared with inadequate resources to facilitate a successful transition. Participant descriptions were described in terms of loss of structure, loss of peers and being helped. Findings have potential to shape implementation of evidence-based practices in community substance abuse treatment.
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