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Article
Publication date: 17 November 2011

Nicole K. Lee, Jacqui Cameron, Angela Harney and Sandra Roeg

Dissemination of good practice information to practitioners is one of the great challenges of the substance abuse treatment sector. The authors' understanding of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Dissemination of good practice information to practitioners is one of the great challenges of the substance abuse treatment sector. The authors' understanding of the process by which research is translated is limited, but a whole of workforce approach is considered best practice. This paper aims to examine organisational change as a result of a workforce capacity‐building program over six months.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 195 staff (nine service managers, 39 supervisors and 147 clinicians) in 13 alcohol and other drug (AOD) services across Australia participated in mental health screening and brief intervention training using PsyCheck. PsyCheck is designed to detect and address common mental health symptoms among drug treatment clients. The Dual Diagnosis Capability in Addiction Treatment (DDCAT) index was used to measure capacity before and after training.

Findings

There was no significant difference between baseline and follow‐up DDCAT scores; however, the level of PsyCheck implementation indicated improvement in DDCAT scores.

Practical implications

The results show that where organisations implement the program successfully, capacity improves; where the program is not well implemented, capacity reduces. Successful implementers report a number of common elements: the screening tool was implemented into routine assessment; there was a single onsite “champion” supporting the implementation; and they worked with the staff and persisted with the implementation even where there was initial worker resistance.

Originality/value

This paper provides the opportunity to assess workforce capacity building and the feasibility of utilising the DCCAT to measure co‐occurring mental health and substance use disorders in Australian AOD services.

Details

Advances in Dual Diagnosis, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0972

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