- There are well documented challenges in adapting evidence based practices to fit the real world of substance abuse treatment programs. Most practices require more training and supervision than is practical for community-based treatment programs. Faced with a similar problem in the teaching profession, educational researchers have divided new and complex topics into key elements teachable in single sessions using multimedia resources (video, audio) and pre-packaged teaching aids to engage participants and stimulate class discussion. Session materials are packaged in an appealing, multi-use "toolkit" to assist teachers in delivering complex information accurately with minimal instruction or supervision. We propose to translate this approach to the addiction treatment field: We will develop, implement and test the conceptual fidelity, practical utility, and attractiveness of a curriculum of toolkits to help substance abuse counselors deliver group sessions on empirically derived 12-Step recovery topics including finding meetings and a home group, active participation in 12-Step groups, addressing misconceptions and barriers to participation, and others. We will randomly assign 80 counselors from 10 inpatient treatment programs to either treatment-as- usual (TAU) or the Toolkits group (TK). TK counselors will receive four "toolkits" - one on each of four 12-Step topics - each containing a brief DVD where actors illustrate the group topic, and assorted easy-to-use teaching aids, all packaged in a plastic kit (literally, a tool-kit). Content on these evidence-based 12-step topics will be based on widely used manuals e.g., NIAAA Therapy Manuals, SAMHSA TIPS and Project MATCH Manuals and strategies that have been shown to effectively promote 12-Step participation. Counselor outcome domains tap into accepted constructs of program implementation: adherence, quality, dose, and participant responsiveness. We will audiotape and rate all counselors conducting group sessions on the four 12-Step topics in our curriculum before the intervention and again, on the same topics, 1 and 6 months later (N=960 sessions) to compare concept fidelity and general skills between the study groups and within groups, over time. Counselors will also rate the toolkits'acceptability and value, and report monthly on their toolkit utilization for 12 months post-intervention. In addition to counselor assessments, we will collect satisfaction with the four 12-Step Recovery sessions (N=2,400) and track a subsample of patients (N = 400, 200 TK and 200 TAU/Control) who screen positive for alcohol problems. Patient 12-Step participation (meeting attendance and 12-Step recovery involvement) at 1-, 3- and 6-months post treatment will be compared between study conditions;these data will speak to the ultimate efficacy of the intervention to promote post-treatment 12-Step participation. If successful, this innovative, easy to use and cost effective method of technology transfer could help engineer evidence based concepts and information into science-base, validated clinical tools that will fit within the resource-challenged environment of contemporary substance abuse treatment programs.

Public Health Relevance

Incorporating empirically-proven or evidence-based practices into community-based substance abuse treatment programs is critically needed but it requires substantial resources (time, staff and financial) that are often limited in such settings. This innovative project will develop an appealing, cost-effective and easy-to-use curriculum of multimedia toolkits to assist counselors in accurately and comprehensively introducing the core topics of 12-Step recovery in group counseling sessions, an approach empirically demonstrated to promote reductions in substance use. If successful, this method of disseminating scientifically-validated practices will advance a critical component in NIAAA's mission of translating and disseminating research findings to the 13,371 treatment programs throughout the US that provide almost 1 million outpatient service visits daily and treat an additional 120,000 people in residential/inpatient treatment daily.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Chiapella, Page
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Treatment Research Institute, Inc. (TRI)
United States
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Brooks, Adam C; Carpenedo, Carolyn M; Fairfax-Columbo, Jaymes et al. (2013) The RoadMAP Relapse Prevention Group Counseling Toolkit™: counselor adherence and competence outcomes. J Subst Abuse Treat 45:356-62
Brooks, Adam C; Diguiseppi, Graham; Laudet, Alexandre et al. (2012) Developing an evidence-based, multimedia group counseling curriculum toolkit. J Subst Abuse Treat 43:178-89