, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 463-467
Date: 28 Jul 2009

Empirically Supported Treatments in Rural Community Mental Health Centers: A Preliminary Report on Current Utilization and Attitudes Toward Adoption

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Rural community mental health centers (CMHCs) face numerous problems that might be alleviated by the dissemination of empirically supported treatments (ESTs). The current study lays the groundwork for EST dissemination by examining current treatment practices in rural clinics as well as the attitudes of decision makers toward ESTs and perceived barriers to their adoption. Twenty-five rural and 38 non-rural clinical directors responded to a mailed survey. Rural respondents were as likely as non-rural respondents to report EST use in their clinic for most anxiety disorders, and more likely to report use of an EST for major depressive disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, ESTs represent a relatively small proportion of the treatments reported for depression and anxiety disorders. Attitudes toward manualized ESTs did not differ between groups. Further, rural and nonrural clinics did not see the barriers to the adoption of ESTs as insurmountable. These preliminary results suggest that rural CMHCs are open to the use of ESTs and should be included in widespread dissemination initiatives.