Despite the availability of psychosocial evidence-based practices (EBPs), quality and outcomes for persons with mental disorders remain suboptimal because of organizational barriers to implementation. Replicating Effective Programs (REP), an implementation intervention applied to promote the use of psychosocial treatments in community-based practices, still resulted in less than half of sites actually sustaining the use of these treatments. Based on input from community partners from our previous R01 (MH79994), the study team subsequently enhanced REP to include Facilitation, a novel implementation intervention which addresses site- level organizational barriers to EBP adoption beyond REP's emphasis on fidelity. Two Facilitation roles were developed: External and Internal Facilitators. External Facilitators (EFs) reside outside the clinic, are supported by the study, and provide technical expertise to providers in adapting and using EBPs in routine practice. Internal Facilitators (IFs) are employed by the sites, have a direct reporting relationshp to site leadership, and have protected time to conduct activities to help site program champions implement EBPs. IFs also address site-specific organizational barriers that may not be observable at baseline or by EFs. The overarching goal of this study is to build the most cost-effective adaptive implementation intervention involving REP and the augmentation of the EF and IF roles to improve patient outcomes and the uptake of an EBP for mood disorders (Life Goals-LG) in community settings. The primary aim of this clustered randomized trial is to determine, among sites not initially responding to REP (i.e., limited LG uptake), the effect of adaptive implementation interventions in sites receiving External and Internal Facilitator (REP+EF/IF) versus External Facilitator alone (REP+EF) on improved patient-level outcomes, including mental health quality of life and decreased symptoms, as well as increased LG use among patients with mood disorders after 12 months. Secondary aims are to determine, among sites that continue to exhibit non-response after 12 months, the effect of continuing Facilitation on patient-level outcomes at 24 months, describe the implementation of EF and IF, and to conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis of REP+EF/IF compared to REP+EF over the 24-month period. A representative cohort of 100 community-based outpatient clinics (total 1,600 patients) from different U.S. regions (Michigan, Colorado, and Arkansas) will be included in this study. We will use a Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial (SMART) design to build the best adaptive implementation intervention. This groundbreaking study design will address three crucial implementation issues: First, IFs are costly for sites since they require additional administrative effort. Second, the extent to which an off-site EF alone versus the addition of an on- site IF can improve patient outcomes in community settings is unclear. Finally, among sites that continue to exhibit non-response after 12 months of Facilitation, the value of continuing the implementation strategy (i.e., delayed effect) has not been assessed, especially in smaller practices from more rural settings.
It often takes years to translate (EBPs) into community-based treatment settings. The result of this current study will be a novel, site-tailored implementation strategy to improve the health of patients with mental disorders by enhancing access to EBPs. This study will also inform the use of innovative implementation study designs to produce more relevant, rapid, and generalizable results by more quickly validating or rejecting new implementation strategies, thus enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of implementation research.
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