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Do School-Based Clinicians’ Knowledge and Use of Common Elements Correlate with Better Treatment Quality?

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Abstract

Increasingly, research is focusing on strategies to make evidence-based practice more achievable in school mental health. A significant theme is training and implementation of “common elements” or specific therapeutic skills associated with positive clinical outcomes for children and youth, as compared to “manualized” interventions, which can be difficult to implement, especially in the school setting. As part of a larger study on quality assessment and improvement and evidence-based practice in school mental health (SMH) in three US states, this study analyzed 29 SMH clinicians’ knowledge and use of common elements and the relation of knowledge and use to independent ratings of therapy quality. There was high variability in knowledge and use of the common elements and strong associations between knowledge and use and ratings of treatment quality/effectiveness. Results are discussed in relation to advancing research and clinical practice on achievable evidence-based practice in SMH.

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Acknowledgments

This project was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, #1R01MH71015-01A1; 2003–2007. Additional support for this project was provided by cooperative agreement U45 MC 00174-10-0 from the Office of Adolescent Health, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Services Administration.

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Correspondence to Sharon Stephan.

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Stephan, S., Westin, A., Lever, N. et al. Do School-Based Clinicians’ Knowledge and Use of Common Elements Correlate with Better Treatment Quality?. School Mental Health 4, 170–180 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-012-9079-8

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