Background: Effective leadership for organizational change is critical to the implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs). As organizational leaders in behavioral health organizations often are promoted from within the agency for their long-standing, effective work as counselors, they may lack formal training in leadership, management, or practice change. This study assesses a novel implementation leadership training designed to promote leadership skills and successful organizational change specific to EBP implementation. Methods: We conducted a pre-post outcome evaluation of the Training in Implementation Practice Leadership (TRIPLE), delivered via three in-person, half-day training sessions, with interim coaching and technical support. Sixteen mid-level leaders (75% female, 94% Caucasian, mean age 37 years) from 8 substance abuse treatment agencies participated. Professional roles included clinical managers, quality improvement coordinators, and program directors. Participants completed surveys prior to the first and following the final session. At both time points, measures included the Implementation Leadership Scale, Implementation Climate Scale, and Organizational Readiness for Implementing Change Scale. At post-test, we added the Training Acceptability and Appropriateness Scale (TAAS), assessing participant satisfaction with the training. Qualitative interviews were conducted 6 to 8 months after the training. Results: Most participants (86% and 79%, respectively) reported increased implementation leadership skills and implementation climate; paired samples t tests indicated these pre-post increases were statistically significant. Implementation leadership scores improved most markedly on the Proactive and Knowledgeable subscales. For implementation climate, participants reported the greatest increases in educational support and recognition for using EBP. Post-test scores on the TAAS also indicated that participants found the training program to be highly acceptable and appropriate for their needs. Qualitative results supported positive outcomes of training that resulted in both increased organizational implementation as well as leadership skills of participants. Conclusions: This training program represents an innovative, effective, and well-received implementation strategy for emerging behavioral healthcare leaders seeking to adopt or improve the delivery of EBPs. Reported implementation leadership skills and implementation climate improved following the training program, suggesting that TRIPLE may have helped fulfill a critical need for emerging behavioral healthcare leaders.
- Behavioral health
- Practice change