Evaluating a Train-the-Trainer Approach for Increasing EBP Training Capacity in Community Mental Health


Research suggests the train-the-trainer (TtT) model may be an effective approach to training community mental health providers in evidence-based practice (EBP). This study compared pre- and post-training consultation outcomes as well as standardized measures of trainer attributes and behaviors between university-based master trainers and experienced community-based supervisors, trained under the TtT approach. Findings suggest local and master trainers are equivalent in terms of clinical teaching effectiveness and trainee-perceived charisma. Master trainers may have higher trainee-perceived credibility, but training and consultation outcomes are equivalent across the types of trainers, with the exception of behavioral problems where clinicians trained by local trainers and master trainers saw significantly greater growth than those who received training and consultation by master trainers.

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We’d like to thank the local trainers for their hard work leading trainings and support developing the train-the-trainer initiative: Rachel Barrett, Dan Fox, Melissa Gorsuch-Clark, Cara Graham, Louisa Hall, Phoebe Mulligan, and Renee Slaven. This publication was made possible in part by funding from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health Recovery.


This publication was made possible in part by funding from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health Recovery (WA DBHR).

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Noah S. Triplett AB.

Ethics declarations

All evaluation activities were reviewed by the Washington State IRB and were exempted from review.

Conflict of interest

Dr. Sedlar, Ms. Berliner, Dr. Jungbluth, and Dr. Dorsey were paid by WA DBHR to serve as the master trainers for the initiative outlined in this study. The remaining authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human participants

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Triplett, N.S., Sedlar, G., Berliner, L. et al. Evaluating a Train-the-Trainer Approach for Increasing EBP Training Capacity in Community Mental Health. J Behav Health Serv Res 47, 189–200 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-019-09676-2

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  • Training
  • Community mental health
  • Evidence-based practice