Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 61-74

First online:

Mental Health Provider Attitudes Toward Adoption of Evidence-Based Practice: The Evidence-Based Practice Attitude Scale (EBPAS)

  • Gregory A. AaronsAffiliated withDepartments of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of CaliforniaChild & Adolescent Services Research Center Email author 

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Mental health provider attitudes toward organizational change have not been well studied. Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) into real-world settings represent organizational change that may be limited or facilitated by provider attitudes toward adoption of new treatments, interventions, and practices. A brief measure of mental health provider attitudes toward adoption of EBPs was developed and attitudes were examined in relation to a set of provider individual difference and organizational characteristics. Methods: Participants were 322 public sector clinical service workers from 51 programs providing mental health services to children and adolescents and their families. Results: Four dimensions of attitudes toward adoption of EBPs were identified: (1) intuitive Appeal of EBP, (2) likelihood of adopting EBP given Requirements to do so, (3) Openness to new practices, and (4) perceived Divergence of usual practice with research-based/academically developed interventions. Provider attitudes varied by education level, level of experience, and organizational context. Conclusions: Attitudes toward adoption of EBPs can be reliably measured and vary in relation to individual differences and service context. EBP implementation plans should include consideration of mental health service provider attitudes as a potential aid to improve the process and effectiveness of dissemination efforts.

evidence-based practice attitudes dissemination mental health child adolescent organization services