The Adoption and Implementation of an Evidence Based Practice in Child and Family Mental Health Services Organizations

A Pilot Study of Functional Family Therapy in New York State

Published In: Administration and Policy In Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, v. 35, no. 1-2, Mar. 2008, p. 38-49

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2007

by James Zazzali, Cathy D. Sherbourne, Kimberly Hoagwood, Deborah Greene, Michael F. Bigley, Thomas L. Sexton

Read More

Access further information on this document at Springer

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Numerous challenges persist in providing evidence-based treatments to children and families in community-based settings. Functional Family Therapy (FFT), one such evidence-based treatment, is a family prevention and intervention program for adolescents with conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder. This paper presents pilot data in support of a conceptual framework explaining the adoption and implementation of FFT in a small sample of family and child mental health services organizations in New York State. The conceptual framework is grounded in the diffusion of innovations and the organizational behavior literatures, as well as previously published accounts of the adoption and implementation of evidence-based treatments in mental health. Pilot study data demonstrated that factors associated with the adoption of FFT included: The program fitting with the mission of the organization, as well as the organization having a strong interest in evidence-based treatments. Once a decision to adopt FFT was made, the degree to which it fit with organizational characteristics (e.g., available resource sets, organizational structure, and culture) influenced the ease with which it was implemented. Implications for the adoption and implementation of other evidence-based treatments are discussed.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.