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Rodriguez A, Kim JJ, Zhan C, Lau AS, Hamilton AB, Palinkas LA, Gellatly R, Brookman-Frazee L. A Mixed-Method Analysis on the Impacts of a System-DrivenImplementation of Multiple Child Evidence-Based Practices on CommunityMental Health Providers. Professional Psychology, Research and Practice. 2020 Jul 2; https://doi.org/10.1037/pro0000353.
Initiatives to scale up evidence-based practices (EBPs) in routine care are likely to have myriad impacts on community providers, but these impacts have not yet been examined in depth. This is especially true within the context of simultaneous implementation of multiple evidence-based practices. The aim of this study was to characterize the multifaceted impacts on community mental health therapists within a system-driven implementation of multiple EBPs for youth and families. Semistructured interview and survey data were gathered from 60 therapists at 11 agencies contracted with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to deliver EBPs within the Prevention and Early Intervention initiative. Therapists' accounts of impacts varied, and were either predominately negative, predominantly positive, or mixed-valence. Mixed-methods analyses using Kruskal-Wallis tests showed therapist valence groups varied on mean levels of self-reported burnout on surveys. Themes from qualitative data revealed several favorable (e.g., increased EBP knowledge, structure) and unfavorable (e.g., distress, feeling constrained by EBPs) impacts of county-contracted EBP implementation. These findings inform the development and implementation of future system-driven EBP initiatives that consider therapist perspective to optimize positive impacts and minimize negative impacts on therapists.