Using Getting To Outcomes to Facilitate the Use of an Evidence-Based Practice in VA Homeless Program

A Cluster-Randomized Trial of an Implementation Support Strategy

Published in: Implementation Science, v. 12, no. 1, March 2017, p. 34. doi:10.1186/s13012-017-0565-0

Posted on RAND.org on April 07, 2017

by Matthew Chinman, Sharon McCarthy, Gordon Hannah, Thomas Hugh Byrne, David A. Smelson

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Background

Incorporating evidence-based integrated treatment for dual disorders into typical care settings has been challenging, especially among those serving Veterans who are homeless. This paper presents an evaluation of an effort to incorporate an evidence-based, dual disorder treatment called Maintaining Independence and Sobriety Through Systems Integration, Outreach, and Networking-Veterans Edition (MISSION-Vet) into case management teams serving Veterans who are homeless, using an implementation strategy called Getting To Outcomes (GTO).

Methods

This Hybrid Type III, cluster-randomized controlled trial assessed the impact of GTO over and above MISSION-Vet Implementation as Usual (IU). Both conditions received standard MISSION-Vet training and manuals. The GTO group received an implementation manual, training, technical assistance, and data feedback. The study occurred in teams at three large VA Medical Centers over 2 years. Within each team, existing sub-teams (case managers and Veterans they serve) were the clusters randomly assigned. The trial assessed MISSION-Vet services delivered and collected via administrative data and implementation barriers and facilitators, via semi-structured interview.

Results

No case managers in the IU group initiated MISSION-Vet while 68% in the GTO group did. Seven percent of Veterans with case managers in the GTO group received at least one MISSION-Vet session. Most case managers appreciated the MISSION-Vet materials and felt the GTO planning meetings supported using MISSION-Vet. Case manager interviews also showed that MISSION-Vet could be confusing; there was little involvement from leadership after their initial agreement to participate; the data feedback system had a number of difficulties; and case managers did not have the resources to implement all aspects of MISSION-Vet.

Conclusions

This project shows that GTO-like support can help launch new practices but that multiple implementation facilitators are needed for successful execution of a complex evidence-based program like MISSION-Vet.

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