The addiction treatment field continues to lag in implementing treatments based on scientific evidence. Treatment systems are now being held accountable for providing evidence-based treatments (EBTs). As a result, there is increasing pressure on counselors to adopt and implement empirically-supported treatments such as motivational enhancement, cognitive behavioral treatment, and twelve-step facilitation. Current efforts rely primarily on downloads, online courses, and training announcements - all of which are static methods. These methods are not tailored to counselors'educational needs or client caseloads. We are therefore proposing the development of Behavioral Health Solutions, which will provide tailored, real-time, evidence- based treatment recommendations to substance abuse counselors. These recommendations will be based on core elements of EBTs and provide step-by-step EBT delivery directions, instructional videos, and handouts for clients. The goal of this product is to increase the understanding and effective use of evidence-based practices so that counselors can more flexibly use these practices with their substance-abusing clients. Behavioral Health Solutions will be available on mobile devices, allowing counselors to easily access important interventions that are relevant to current client needs. This innovative product represents a major advancement over current training methods, which are asynchronous with treatment delivery, cumbersome, and often too costly to use in day-to-day clinical work. Other advantages of this product include: (1) training that occurs in proximity to treatment, thereby increasing the potential for implementation;(2) content that is linked to pertinent client resources;(3) standard content review and updates (via Hazelden's large editorial operation);(4) content that is easily tagged and pushed, and (5) the ability to track counselor implementation of EBTs. This Phase II embodies a collaboration between two organizations with extensive experience in the addictions and behavioral health fields. Hazelden Publishing (Center City, MN) is a leader in providing evidence-based programs for the full continuum of care, ranging from prevention and intervention to treatment and recovery management. Inflexxion (Newton, MA) has conducted interactive health research in the addictions for the past 17 years. The goal of Phase II is to demonstrate that Behavioral Health Solutions will significantly improve counselor EBT implementation. The field test will examine the primary hypotheses that, relative to a control condition (treatment as usual with access to online EBT materials), counselors assigned to the Experimental group will evidence significantly greater: (1) EBT self-efficacy, (2) positive attitudes about the use of EBTs, and (3) self- reported use of EBTs.

Public Health Relevance

The addiction treatment field continues to lag in implementing treatments based on scientific evidence, but treatment systems are now being held accountable for providing evidence-based treatments (EBTs). We propose to develop Behavioral Health Solutions, a mobile technology platform that will provide recommendations based on core EBT elements to substance abuse counselors. By enabling evidence-based treatment on a more consistent basis, this program can have significant public health impact through improved treatment of substance abusers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Aklin, Will
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Inflexxion, Inc.
United States
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