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Subst Abus. 2006 Sep;27(3):19-25.

Technology-based training in cognitive behavioral therapy for substance abuse counselors.

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Center for Health Care Evaluation, VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA, USA.


This study compared the learning outcomes achieved by 166 practicing substance abuse counselors who were randomized to one of three conditions: (1) a Web-Based Training (WBT) module designed to familiarize practitioners with the "Coping with Craving" module from the NIDA treatment manual, "A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach: Treating Cocaine Addiction" (, (2) a face-to-face training workshop covering the identical content, or (3) a delayed training control condition. Participants in all three conditions completed an identical test of knowledge before and after the session. Results indicated that participants in both the WBT and face-to-face workshop conditions showed improvement in mean test scores, while participants in the delayed training control condition did not. Improvements in test scores for participants in both the WBT and face-to-face conditions were statistically significant and equally modest in magnitude. The finding of equivalent rates of knowledge transfer across these two delivery mechanisms highlight one function for which WBT may be particularly well-suited, and suggest that the most effective clinical training applications may use a "blended delivery" format that leverages the strengths of both WBT and face-to-face training.

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