Evidence-based mental health treatments are not delivered to most patients who would benefit from them, largely because we do not know how to implement them. Recent NIH Program Announcements on "Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health" (PAR-06-039,520,521) invite new and innovative approaches to identifying, understanding, and overcoming barriers to the adoption of evidence-based interventions. This A-2 application proposes one such innovation: Using an R25 mechanism, we propose a unique training program in implementation research (IR) based at Washington University's NIMH funded Center for Mental Health Services Research. A key part of the yet underdeveloped Translation Two stage of the NIH Roadmap, IR investigates the process of moving empirically supported treatments (ESTs) into routine care. The training institute addresses five aims: (1) to conduct an Implementation Research Institute (IRI) annually in mid-June led by multidisciplinary faculty from across the nation with specialized expertise for IR;(2) to support IRI fellows'visits to research centers conducting NIH-funded implementation research and to facilitate their pilot studies in clinic and agency settings;(3) to develop and disseminate an implementation research course module for use by other mental health research training programs nationally;(4) to support IRI Core Faculty in publishing an annual scholarly paper that synthesizes the conceptual, substantive, and methodological advances in implementation research;and (5) to systematically evaluate these educational training efforts. We will employ a "learning collaborative" approach that coalesces senior health and mental health services researchers, treatment developers, expert methodologists, and junior researchers around their shared commitment to advancing their own knowledge of implementation research methods (human capital) and the field itself (intellectual capital). We will teach didactically and experientially, support distance learning, train fellows to observe agency- and research- implementation efforts, and collaboratively develop new materials to advance the field of implementation research. Outcomes will include: drawing senior faculty from many disciplines into a scholarly collaborative around IR;recruiting and preparing 32 new researchers for IR;submission of new IR grant proposals to NIH;and publishing scholarly papers on implementation science. The IRI responds to the NIMH Strategic Plans call for mental health research training to "inspire creativity, innovation, and a thirst to make a difference in the lives of those with mental disorders." Trainees will be transdisciplinary, team players, and translators in work to advance the public health mission of NIMH, thus responding to (1) challenges for training the future research workforce as identified in the National Advisory Mental Health Council Workgroup on Research Training Report and (2) Objective 4 in NIMH's Strategic Plan. Public Health Relevance: This training program will prepare new researchers who can help make evidence-based mental health care available through real-world settings of care, thereby extending NIMH's public health mission (Strategic Plan Obj. 4). The work of these newly trained researchers and the new knowledge generated by the training faculty can improve mental health care, thus extending the benefits of NIMH basic and clinical research and reducing the suffering of millions of Americans who live with mental disorders.
This training program will prepare new researchers who can help make evidence-based mental health care available through real-world settings of care, thereby extending NIMH's public health mission (Strategic Plan Obj. 4). The work of these newly trained researchers and the new knowledge generated by the training faculty can improve mental health care, thus extending the benefits of NIMH basic and clinical research and reducing the suffering of millions of Americans who live with mental disorders.
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