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Adm Policy Ment Health. 2008 Mar;35(1-2):124-33. Epub 2007 Dec 13.

Therapist turnover and new program sustainability in mental health clinics as a function of organizational culture, climate, and service structure.

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1
Children's Mental Health Services Research Center, University of Tennessee, 128 Henson Hall, Knoxville, TN 37996-3332, USA. cglisson@utk.edu

Abstract

The present study incorporates organizational theory and organizational characteristics in examining issues related to the successful implementation of mental health services. Following the theoretical foundations of socio-technical and cultural models of organizational effectiveness, organizational climate, culture, legal and service structures, and workforce characteristics are examined as correlates of therapist turnover and new program sustainability in a nationwide sample of mental health clinics. Results of General Linear Modeling (GLM) with the organization as the unit of analysis revealed that organizations with the best climates as measured by the Organizational Social Context (OSC) profiling system, had annual turnover rates (10%) that were less than half the rates found in organizations with the worst climates (22%). In addition, organizations with the best culture profiles sustained new treatment or service programs over twice as long (50 vs. 24 months) as organizations with the worst cultures. Finally, clinics with separate children's services units had higher turnover rates than clinics that served adults and children within the same unit. The findings suggest that strategies to support the implementation of new mental health treatments and services should attend to organizational culture and climate, and to the compatibility of organizational service structures with the demand characteristics of treatments.

PMID:
18080741
DOI:
10.1007/s10488-007-0152-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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