PI: JANEY MCMILLEN, PHD, DANIELLE SWICK, PHD
TERM: 09/10 – 09/11
A large and growing scientific base demonstrates that when evidence-based interventions (EBI) are implemented, substantial treatment benefits are apparent for youth across a wide range of clinical disorders. However, many interventions proven effective under strict research conditions fail to achieve their intended outcomes when delivered in the real world. The absence of documented outcome variables and proof of accurate intervention application (i.e., treatment fidelity) undermines conclusions about the relation between treatment and behavior change. The strength of treatment outcomes is directly related to quality of the intervention implementation. If an EBI is implemented with high quality, significant positive treatment outcomes are likely. In contrast, poor implementation substantially undermines the effectiveness of an EBI. Further, the fidelity with which the intervention is delivered is crucial not only for the providers’ ability to attribute changes in treatment outcomes to the evidence-based intervention, but also for the intervention’s diffusion and dissemination in mental health settings.
In Phase I of this project, a web tool titled the web-based dissemination toolbox (WDT) was developed to support quality implementation of mental health EBIs in community settings. The following suite of tools and website features were built for the WDT prototype: (1) web-based training courses; (2) on-going implementation assistance tools; (3) downloadable resources; and (4) accountability tools. The product was tested with intervention developers and community mental health administrators. Participants unanimously recommended the addition of a treatment outcomes module. Stakeholders indicated a treatment outcomes module would serve several key functions: (1) allow for investigation of correspondence between level of treatment fidelity and targeted outcomes; (2) provide accountability data for end of year reporting requirements; (3) assist in solicitation of future funding of programs including various grant and federal funding opportunities; and (4) promote further buy-in by providers, which will be crucial to the sustainability and implementation quality of an intervention.
During this Phase I supplement project, the WDT treatment outcomes module prototype is being developed for feasibility testing. The following tools and concomitant website features are expected to be built for the treatment outcomes module prototype: (1) bank of online measures; (2) data collection and management; and (3) reporting functions. Mental health administrators, community-based mental health providers, and youth mental health intervention developers/researchers will review the treatment outcomes module prototype in a semi-structured online walk-through. These participants will then attend in-person workgroups to provide clarification and a greater understanding of recommendations or questions. Valuable feedback gained from this testing will enhance and improve the proposed product and will be used to generate a full development plan for Phase II.