Long-Term Sustainability of Evidence-Based Practices in Community Mental Health Agencies
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This study examined rates of sustainability, defined as program continuation, and factors associated with sustainability 6 years after full implementation of five evidence-based practices in 49 sites in the National Implementing Evidence-Based Practices Project. Based on interviews with agency leaders and state leaders, 47 % of sites sustained the practice for 6 years, 16 % restarted the practice after a period of discontinuation, and 37 % discontinued the practice permanently. Agency leaders from discontinuing sites identified inadequate financial support, lack of prioritization, and workforce issues as barriers to continuation. Adequate financing, ongoing supervision, and monitoring of fidelity and outcome may promote long-term sustainability.
KeywordsSustainability Implementation Evidence-based practices
This study was funded in part by SAMHSA Contract 283-07-4005. We thank the many site leaders and state leaders who agreed to be interviewed and who provided thoughtful responses. We also thank our project officer, Kevin Hennessy, Ph.D., Science to Service Coordinator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, for his helpful comments and suggestions during the course of this project.
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