Effect of an Organizational Linkage Intervention on Staff Perceptions of Medication-Assisted Treatment and Referral Intentions in Community Corrections
Peter D. Friedmann, Donna Wilson, Hannah Knudsen, Lori Ducharme, Wayne Welsh, Linda Frisman, Kevin Knight, Hsiu-Ju Lin, Amy James, Carmen Albizu-Garcia, Jennifer Pankow, Elizabeth Hall, Terry Urbine, Sami Abdel-Salam, Jamieson Duvall, Frank Vocci
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment
14 October 2014
•This study cluster-randomized 20 community corrections sites to see whether training and an organizational linkage intervention would improve staff perceptions of MAT and referral intentions more than training alone.
•Compared to training alone, the experimental intervention produced significantly greater improvements in functional attitudes (e.g. that MAT is helpful to clients) and referral intentions among both correctional and treatment staff.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is effective for alcohol and opioid use disorders but it is stigmatized and underutilized in criminal justice settings.
This study cluster-randomized 20 community corrections sites to determine whether an experimental implementation strategy of training and an organizational linkage intervention improved staff perceptions of MAT and referral intentions more than training alone. The 3-hour training was designed to address deficits in knowledge, perceptions and referral information, and the organizational linkage intervention brought together community corrections and addiction treatment agencies in an interagency strategic planning and implementation process over 12 months.
Although training alone was associated with increases in familiarity with pharmacotherapy and knowledge of where to refer clients, the experimental intervention produced significantly greater improvements in functional attitudes (e.g. that MAT is helpful to clients) and referral intentions. Corrections staff demonstrated greater improvements in functional perceptions and intent to refer opioid dependent clients for MAT than did treatment staff.
Knowledge, perceptions and information training plus interorganizational strategic planning intervention is an effective means to change attitudes and intent to refer clients for medication assisted treatment in community corrections settings, especially among corrections staff.