New grant to test NIATx in Integrated Services, Co-occurring Disorders

Submitted by: 11/11/2015 by Maureen Fitzgerald

A new research study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse will address a longstanding and vexing problem in in behavioral health care: Access to integrated services for persons with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

Despite decades of awareness of this problem, at present, less than 10% of treated patients with co-occurring disorders receive evidence-based integrated services. Implementation science holds to key to addressing this persistent gap. The present study unifies and operationalizes three major implementation research heuristics: the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, the Stages of Implementation Completion, and the Proctor et al. (2011) taxonomy of implementation outcomes.

NIATx has proven effective in implementing and sustaining simple interventions in behavioral health care services. The overarching goal of this project is to test whether NIATx strategies are effective in implementing a complex evidence-based intervention: Integrated services for persons with co-occurring disorders.

Dr. Jay Ford of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and former director of research for NIATx will lead the study with Dr. Mark McGovern of Dartmouth College. The study will utilize a cluster randomized wait-list control group design, in which a cohort of 23 agencies receive the active NIATx approach while the other cohort of 23 agencies are waitlisted. In the second phase, the wait-list group of 23 agencies participates in NIATx and the initial group enters a sustainment phase. Hypothesized to install and sustain integrated services, NIATx is examined for effectiveness on two core implementation outcomes: fidelity and penetration, as well as patient care outcomes (psychiatric and substance use symptom reduction). Variation in the extent of and fidelity to which NIATx strategies are delivered are evaluated using the NIATx Fidelity Scale and a Stages of Implementation Completion informed measure.

For more information on the study, contact Dr. Jay Ford:

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