A serious communication gap exists between the research community and community-based substance abuse treatment programs (e.g., Institute of Medicine, 1998). There is clearly a need for both researcher-to-clinician technology transfer of existing data and two-way knowledge exchange to inform and promote future collaboration and research. While many examples of this communication gap exist, poor community utilization of Behavioral Couples Therapy (BCT), despite strong empirical support, is a prime example of the necessity for more concentrated efforts in this area (Fals-Stewart & Birchler, 2001). The purpose of this application is to develop a state-of-the-science, innovative model of technology transfer and knowledge exchange. The model employs computer-based technologies to both instruct and reinforce the acquisition of skills necessary to conduct empirically supported interventions. Specifically, using the tools of Instructional Design Technology and a constructivist theory-based approach to learning, a computer-based Post-Training Support Center for clinicians is offered. Designed to be easy to use and engaging, information is delivered in a multimedia format. As this support can be used anywhere, the training need not be limited to in-person (IP) settings, but can take place, with equal efficacy, through distance learning (DL). To accomplish this goal, key elements of Stage la and Ib intervention development, as described by Onken, Blaine, and Battjes (1997), will be followed. This clinical trial will unfold in a series of four phases that allow for ongoing development and refinement of the training materials necessary for technology transfer. It is proposed that 90 volunteer clinicians will take part in randomized clinical trials of three different methods of post-training supervision follow-up: a computer-based group (CBG), an expert supervision group (EG), and a no-intervention control group (CG). It is hypothesized that clinicians in the CBG group will demonstrate a greater increase in BCT use and fidelity than the EG and the CG conditions. The knowledge and skills acquired through the Post-Training Support Center will lead to a better quality of learning and understanding. It also is hypothesized that clinicians who participate in DL will use select BCT skills with fidelity and frequency equal to that of clinicians participating in IP, as compared to clinicians in the same follow-up condition. The implications are significant; empirically supported treatments could be made available to reach broad audiences of community-based clinicians, without limitations common in traditional technology transfer efforts.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Mcnamara-Spitznas, Cecilia M
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State University of New York at Buffalo
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United States
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Barrick, Christopher; Homish, Gregory G (2011) Readiness to change and training expectations prior to a training workshop for substance abuse clinicians. Subst Use Misuse 46:1032-6