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Research on Implementation


The Center for Behavioral Health Research has initiated a series of studies focused on improving the implementation of evidence-based treatment models and other innovations (eg, web-based assessment and monitoring) in mental health systems serving children and youth. This work addresses the role of organizational context in innovation implementation, and incorporates many years of center research in assessing and changing organizational culture and climate.

The center completed the first randomized, controlled trial to show that an organizational change strategy can indeed improve the implementation of an evidence-based treatment in systems providing mental health services to youth. The center has subsequently conducted related implementation research in St. Louis and New York. This research examines the mechanisms that explain the role of organizational context (culture and climate) in the adoption, implementation, and sustainability of evidence-based treatment models in mental health agencies.

The focus of much of this research is on the use of an organizational change strategy called ARC (for Availability, Responsiveness, Continuity) that has been developed over multiple randomized controlled trials as an organization-level evidence-based practice for improving the effectiveness of mental health and social service organizations serving children and families.

Glisson, C., Williams, N.J., Hemmelgarn, A., Proctor, E., & Green, P. (in press). “Aligning organizational priorities with ARC to improve youth mental health service outcomes,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 84(8). Published online doi: 10.1037/ccp0000107

Williams, N.J., Glisson, C., Hemmelgarn, A., & Green, P. (2016). Mechanisms of change in the ARC organizational strategy: Increasing mental health clinicians’ EBP adoption through improved organizational culture and capacity,” Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 43(3). Published online doi: 10.1007/s10488-016-0742-5

Glisson, C., Williams, N.J., Hemmelgarn, A., Proctor, E., & Green, P. (2016). “Increasing clinicians’ EBT exploration and preparation behavior in youth mental health services by changing organizational culture with ARC,” Behaviour Research and Therapy.76: 40–46

Olin, SS., Hemmelgarn, AL, Madenwald, K, & Hoagwood, K. (2015). An ARC-informed family centered care intervention for children’s community based mental health programs. Journal of Child and Family Studies. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10826-015-0220-9.

Williams, N. J., & Glisson, C. (2014). The role of organizational culture and climate in the dissemination and implementation of empirically-supported treatments for youth. In R. Beidas, & P. Kendall (Eds.), Child and Adolescent Therapy: Dissemination and Implementation of Empirically-Supported Treatments. New York: Guilford Press.

Glisson, C., Hemmelgarn, A., Green, P., Williams, N. (2013). Randomized Trial of the Availability, Responsiveness and Continuity (ARC) Organizational Intervention for Improving Youth Outcomes in Community Mental Health Programs. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 52(5), 493-500.

Powell, J.P., Proctor, E.K., Glisson, C.A., Kohl, P.A., Raghavan, R., Brownson, R.C., Stoner, B.P. Carpenter, C.R., & Palinkas, L.A. (2013). A mixed methods multiple case study of implementation as usual in children’s social service organizations: study protocol. Implementation Science, 8:92 doi: 10.1186/1748-5908-8-92

Aarons, G.A., Glisson, C., Green, P., Hoagwood, K., Kelleher, K.J., & Landsverk, J.A. (2012). The organizational social context of mental health services and clinician attitudes toward evidence-based practice: A United States national study. Implementation Science, 7(1):56.doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-56.

Aarons, G.A., Glisson, C., Hoagwood, K., Kelleher, K., Landsverk, J., & Cafri, G. (2010). Psychometric properties and United States national norms of the Evidence-Based Practice Attitude Scale (EBPAS). Psychological Assessment, 22 (2), 356-365.

Glisson, C., Schoenwald, S.K., Hemmelgarn, A.L., Green, P.D., Dukes, D., Armstrong, K.S., & Chapman, J.E. (2010). Randomized trial of MST and ARC in a two-level evidence-based treatment implementation strategy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78 (4),537-550.

Proctor, E. K., Landsverk, J., Aarons, G., Chambers, D., Glisson, C., & Mittman, B. (2009). Implementation research in mental health services: An emerging science with conceptual, methodological, and training challenges. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. 36, 24-34.

Schoenwald, S.K., Chapman, J.E., Kelleher, K., Hoagwood, K.E., Landsverk, J., Stevens, J., Glisson, C., & Rolls-Reutz, J. (2008). A survey of the infrastructure for children’s mental health services: Implications for the implementation of Empirically Supported Treatments (ESTs). Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 35(1), 84-97.

Glisson, C., & Schoenwald, S.K. (2005). The ARC organizational and community intervention strategy for implementing evidence-based children’s mental health treatments. Mental Health Services Research, 7(4), 243-259.

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