Consistently Crucial but Invariably Ignored: Testing the Role of Coordination in The Use of Research Evidence

Can the Coordinated Knowledge System for improving the use of research evidence in mental health be made less intensive yet still impactful?

Limited engagement among adolescents receiving mental health services can contribute to superficial and shortened treatment. And while a robust body of empirical evidence exists about how to promote greater engagement, it is underutilized. This study leverages a previously funded randomized controlled trial of a Coordinated Knowledge System (CKS) to promote research use by school mental health workers. CKS embeds training on research-informed practices into routine supervision meetings between clinical supervisors and therapists to help identify engagement problems within youth treatment plans, select appropriate research-informed responses, monitor progress, and adapt treatment to promote youth engagement. Becker and Chorpita will examine if CKS can be stripped down to be less intensive but still be impactful. The team will use a within-subjects repeated measures design with control group participants across three phases: 1) providing research and instructions on treatment engagement problem detection, 2) providing additional research and instructions about intervention options and planning, and 3) providing the full treatment with intensive coordination. The team will audio record and code supervision meetings for research use when treatment plans are discussed. Youth engagement outcomes will be assessed through case reviews and surveys of youth and their parents, and the team will use multi-level models to examine the extent to which providing resources alone versus the full coordinated system relate to research use and youth engagement. Findings from the study may confirm either that intensive job-embedded supports are necessary to impact research use or suggest that research use can be improved in a simpler and less costly way.

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