Defense Date

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Michael A. Southam-Gerow

Second Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth M. Z. Farmer

Abstract

High quality mental health services do not reach the youth who need them, leading to efforts to implement effective treatments more broadly. One focus of these efforts concerns training the mental health workforce, of which master’s-level social workers represent a large proportion. However, the curricula of master’s in social work (MSW) programs do not often emphasize evidence-based approaches. One possible solution is Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP; PracticeWise, LLC), a system that allows clinicians to (1) identify clinically indicated evidence-based programs by searching a growing evidence-base of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and (2) build individualized evidence-informed treatment plans by focusing on common practice elements. MAP may also address the concerns about manual-based programs (e.g., inflexibility). Although some MSW programs have integrated MAP, the benefits of MAP training within MSW education have not yet been evaluated. This project evaluated multiple mechanisms of training in a semester-long MSW-focused MAP course relative to curriculum-as-usual control at a large public university.

Participants were advanced MSW students (mean age = 27, SD = 5.8; 92.3% women; 59% white) either enrolled in the MAP course (n = 17) or enrolled in curriculum-as-usual (n = 22). The MAP course was co-taught by an expert MAP trainer and a MAP-trained social worker. Pre- and post-semester, participants completed a battery that included: (1) role-plays with standardized patients that were videotaped and coded using the Therapy Observational Coding System of Child Psychotherapy – Revised Strategies scale; (2) a written task that was subsequently coded to assess participants’ clinical decision-making skills during different phases of a standardized case; and (3) attitudinal factors that may be predictive of future MAP usage, such as attitudes toward evidence-based practice and the acceptability and feasibility of MAP. Results indicate significant uptake of cognitive and behavioral therapeutic strategies in the MAP condition. Overall, participants endorsed positive attitudes toward evidence-based practice broadly and MAP specifically. Findings may be used to inform the development of more effective evidence-informed curriculum for master’s-level clinical programs and future workforce training initiatives. Methodological considerations may inform advances in instrumentation to measure multidimensional training outcomes

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

6-22-2019

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