Technology Transfer Through Performance Management

The Effects of Graphical Feedback and Positive Reinforcement on Drug Treatment Counselors' Behavior

Published in: Drug and Alcohol Dependence, v. 63, no. 2, 2001, p. 179-186

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2001

by Matthew E. Andrzejewski, Kimberly C. Kirby, Andrew R. Morral, Martin Y. Iguchi

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After drug treatment counselors at a community-based methadone treatment clinic were trained in implementing a contingency management (CM) intervention, baseline measures of performance revealed that, on average, counselors were meeting the performance criteria specified by the treatment protocol about 42% of the time. Counselors were exposed to graphical feedback and a drawing for cash prizes in an additive within-subjects design to assess the effectiveness of these interventions in improving protocol adherence. Counselor performance measures increased to 71% during the graphical feedback condition, and to 81% during the drawing. Each counselor's performance improved during the intervention conditions. Additional analyses suggested that counselors did not have skill deficits that hindered implementation. Rather, protocol implementation occurred more frequently when consequences were added, thereby increasing the overall proportion of criteria met. Generalizations, however, may be limited due to a small sample size and possible confounding of time and intervention effects. Nonetheless, present results show promise that feedback and positive reinforcement could be used to improve technology transfer of behavioral interventions into community clinic settings.

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