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Psychiatr Serv. 2001 Dec;52(12):1598-606.

Strategies for disseminating evidence-based practices to staff who treat people with serious mental illness.

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University of Chicago Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Tinley Park, IL 60477, USA.


Evidence-based practices have not been widely implemented in real-world treatment settings for several reasons, including existing state laws, administrative policies, funding priorities, advocates' concerns, and program staffing. Dissemination strategies focus largely on program staffing and the question of why treatment teams that are responsible for assisting people with serious mental illness fail to use evidence-based practices. In a review of the research literature, two barriers to staff dissemination emerge: individual service providers lack the necessary knowledge and skills to assimilate these practices, and certain organizational dynamics undermine the treatment teams' ability to implement and maintain innovative approaches. Three sets of strategies are useful for overcoming these barriers and fostering dissemination: packaging evidence-based practices so that specific interventions are more accessible and user-friendly to service providers; educating providers about relevant knowledge and skills; and addressing the organizational dynamics of the team to facilitate the implementation of innovations. Research on dissemination is relatively new and is less well developed than the clinical and services research enterprise that has led to evidence-based practices. Implications for future studies are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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