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Health Services Research & Development

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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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Landes SJ, Rodriguez AL, Smith BN, Matthieu MM, Trent LR, Kemp J, Thompson C. Barriers, facilitators, and benefits of implementation of dialectical behavior therapy in routine care: results from a national program evaluation survey in the Veterans Health Administration. Translational behavioral medicine. 2017 Dec 1; 7(4):832-844.
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Abstract: National implementation of evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) provides important lessons on the barriers and facilitators to implementation in a large healthcare system. Little is known about barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a complex EBP for emotional and behavioral dysregulation-dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). The purpose of this study was to understand VHA clinicians' experiences with barriers, facilitators, and benefits from implementing DBT into routine care. This national program evaluation survey measured site characteristics of VHA sites (N  =  59) that had implemented DBT. DBT was most often implemented in general mental health outpatient clinics. While 42% of sites offered all four modes of DBT, skills group was the most frequently implemented mode. Fifty-nine percent of sites offered phone coaching in any form, yet only 11% of those offered it all the time. Providers were often provided little to no time to support implementation of DBT. Barriers that were difficult to overcome were related to phone coaching outside of business hours. Facilitators to implementation included staff interest and expertise. Perceived benefits included increased hope and functioning for clients, greater self-efficacy and compassion for providers, and ability to treat unique symptoms for clinics. There was considerable variability in the capacity to address implementation barriers among sites implementing DBT in VHA routine care. Mental health policy makers should note the barriers and facilitators reported here, with specific attention to phone coaching barriers.

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