Barriers to implementing evidence-based practices in addiction treatment programs: Comparing staff reports on Motivational Interviewing, Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach, Assertive Community Treatment, and Cognitive-behavioral Therapy
Purpose This qualitative study explored barriers to implementing evidence-based practices (EBPs) in community-based addiction treatment organizations (CBOs) by comparing staff descriptions of barriers for four EBPs: Motivational Interviewing (MI), Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA), Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), and Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT).Methods The CBOs received CSAT/SAMHSA funding from 2003 to 2008 to deliver services using EBPs. Phone interview responses from 172 CBO staff directly involved in EBP implementation were analyzed using content analysis, a method for making inferences and developing themes from the systematic review of participant narratives (Berelson, 1952).Results Staff described different types of barriers to implementing each EBP. For MI, the majority of barriers involved staff resistance or organizational setting. For A-CRA, the majority of barriers involved specific characteristics of the EBP or client resistance. For CBT, the majority of barriers were associated with client resistance, and for ACT, the majority of barriers were associated with resources.Discussion EBP designers, policy makers who support EBP dissemination and funders should include explicit strategies to address such barriers. Addiction programs proposing to use specific EBPs must consider whether their programs have the organizational capacity and community capacity to meet the demands of the EBP selected.
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