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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2012 Mar;42(2):222-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2011.10.011. Epub 2011 Dec 5.

The impact of organizational stress and burnout on client engagement.

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  • 1Institute of Behavioral Research, Texas Christian University (TCU), Fort Worth, TX 76129, USA. b.landrum@tcu.edu


This article explores the impact of organizational attributes on client engagement within substance abuse treatment. Previous research has identified organizational features, including small size, accreditation, and workplace practices, that impact client engagement (K. M. Broome, P. M. Flynn, D. K. Knight, & D. D. Simpson, 2007). This study sought to explore how aspects of the work environment impact client engagement. The sample included 89 programs located in 9 states across the United States. Work environment measures included counselor perceptions of stress, burnout, and work satisfaction at each program, whereas engagement measures included client ratings of participation, counseling rapport, and treatment satisfaction. Using multiple regression, tests of moderation and mediation revealed that staff stress negatively predicted client participation in treatment. Burnout was related to stress but was not related to participation. Two additional organizational measures--workload and influence--moderated the positive relationship between staff stress and burnout. Implications for drug treatment programs are discussed.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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