The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Adolescents: An Opportunity to Build Resilient Systems [Editorial]
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents is significant. Educational progress and mental health, in particular, have been negatively affected. Among youth from vulnerable communities, pre-existing academic and health disparities have been exacerbated. Youth outcomes are often attributed to individual resilience - or lack thereof; in this paper, we describe how failure to adapt and effectively cope at the system level (ie, lack of system resilience) is implicated in the current dual educational and mental crisis. We describe opportunities to make our systems more nimble and better-equipped to support youth moving forward.
Trauma in Schools: An Examination of Trauma Screening and Linkage to Behavioral Health Care in School-Based Health Centers
BACKGROUND:This study examined trauma screening and behavioral health linkage rates in school-based health centers (SBHCs). METHODS:Participants included 4161 English- and Spanish-speaking patients between the ages of 12 and 22 across 8 urban SBHCs 2â€‰years. Screening rates at medical visits and linkage to additional behavioral health screening and services were assessed via electronic medical records and a chart audit. RESULTS:Medical providers administered the Primary Care-PTSD screen to 66.3% of patients in year 1 and 46.7% of patients in year 2. Rates of positive trauma screens were 27.5% and 32.1%, respectively, with more girls screening positive than boys. Few (year 1; 8.1%; year 2: 9.6%) adolescents received additional trauma screening by a behavioral health clinician. However, the majority were linked to services (year 1: 66%; year 2: 74%). Lack of documentation (year 1: 24%; year 2: 33%) was a common gap in the charts of patients who did not receive a second stage trauma screening. Demographic differences in screening rates were minimal. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:The current study supports the feasibility of traumatic stress screening and linkage within an integrated care setting. Process improvement efforts should, however, address communication gaps around trauma assessment and its integration into ongoing care.
A Mixed Methods Study of the Stages of Implementation for an Evidence-Based Trauma Intervention in Schools
A mixed methods study was conducted to examine the implementation process of 26 urban school-based mental health clinics that took part in a training and implementation support program for an evidence-based school trauma intervention. Implementation process was observed using the Stages of Implementation Completion (SIC) measure. Qualitative interviews were conducted with clinic leaders in order to gain insight into clinic processes related to the SIC. Results showed that almost all of the clinics engaged in some activities related to pre-implementation (engagement, feasibility, and readiness), but only 31% of the sites formally started delivering the program to youth. Completing more pre-implementation activities, particularly those related to readiness, predicted program start-up. Qualitative analysis comparing those that implemented the program to those that did not revealed critical differences in decision-making processes, leadership strategies, and the presence of local champions for the program. This study documented the patterns of clinic behavior that occurs as part of large-scale training efforts, suggests some unique challenges that occur in schools, and highlights the importance of engaging in particular implementation activities (i.e., readiness planning, stakeholder consensus and planning meetings) as part of program start-up. Findings indicate that pre-implementation and readiness-related consultation should be employed as part of broad-scale implementation and training efforts.
Statewide implementation of an evidence-based trauma intervention in schools
The goal of the current article is to describe the implementation and outcomes of an innovative statewide dissemination approach of the evidence-based trauma intervention Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS). In the context of a 2-year statewide learning collaborative effort, 73 CBITS groups led by 20 clinicians from 5 different school-based mental health provider organizations served a total of 350 racially and ethnically diverse (66.9% Hispanic, 26.2% Black/African American, 43.7% White, and 30.1% Other), majority female (61%) children, averaging 12.2 years (SD = 2.4, range 8-19). Of the 350 children who began CBITS, 316 (90.3%) successfully completed treatment. Children demonstrated significant reductions in child posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms (42% reduction, d = .879) and problem severity (25% reduction, d = .396), and increases in child functioning, t(287) = -3.75, p < .001 (5% increase, d = .223). Findings point to the need, feasibility, and positive impact of implementing and scaling up school-based interventions for students suffering from posttraumatic stress. (PsycINFO Database Record
Long-Term Effects of Pre-Placement Risk Factors on Children's Psychological Symptoms and Parenting Stress Among Families Adopting Children From Foster Care
This exploratory longitudinal study examined behavioral outcomes and parenting stress among families with children adopted from foster care, taking into account environmental and biological risk factors. Child internalizing and externalizing problems and parenting stress were assessed in 82 adopted children and their families at 2 months post-placement, 12 months post-placement, and then yearly until 5 years post-placement. A history of abuse/neglect predicted significantly higher externalizing and internalizing problems at a borderline level of statistical significance. In the initial stages after placement, externalizing problems were significantly higher among children who were 4 years or older at placement versus those who were younger than 4, although differences were no longer significant 5 years post-placement. Statistical trends in parenting stress reflected reduced stress in the first 12 months followed by a plateau for parents who adopted older children and greater stress for parents who adopted younger children. Familiar limitations for observational cohort data apply. Nonetheless, the availability of longitudinal follow-up on a sizable sample of children adopted from foster care adds insight to the psychological dynamics for adoptive families and suggests that families of children adopted from the foster care system may have unique needs for ongoing support around behavioral issues.
What Predicts Clinician Dropout from State-Sponsored Managing and Adapting Practice Training
Dropouts from system-wide evidence-based practice trainings are high; yet there are few studies on what predicts dropouts. This study examined multilevel predictors of clinician dropout from a statewide training on the Managing and Adapting Practice program. Extra-organizational structural variables, intra-organizational variables and clinician variables were examined. Using multivariable logistic regression analysis, state administrative data and prospectively collected clinician participation data were used to predict dropout. Two characteristics were predictive: younger clinicians and those practicing in upstate-rural areas compared to downstate-urban areas were less likely to drop out from training. Implications for research and policy are described.
Using a Theory-Guided Learning Collaborative Model to Improve Implementation of EBPs in a State Children's Mental Health System: A Pilot Study
Learning collaboratives (LCs) are used widely to promote implementation of evidence-based practices. However, there has been limited research on the effectiveness of LCs and models vary widely in their structure, focus and components. The goal of the present study was to develop and field test a theory-based LC model to augment a state-led, evidence-based training program for clinicians providing mental health services to children. Analysis of implementation outcomes contrasted LC sites to matched comparison sites that participated in the clinical training program alone. Results suggested that clinicians from sites participating in the LC were more highly engaged in the state-led clinical training program and were more likely to complete program requirements.
Implementing a Measurement Feedback System in Community Mental Health Clinics: A Case Study of Multilevel Barriers and Facilitators
Measurement feedback systems (MFSs) have been proposed as a means of improving practice. The present study examined the implementation of a MFS, the Contextualized Feedback System (CFS), in two community-based clinic sites. Significant implementation differences across sites provided a basis for examining factors that influenced clinician uptake of CFS. Following the theoretical implementation framework of Aarons et al. (Adm Policy Mental Health Mental Health Serv Res 38(1):4-23, 2011), we coded qualitative data collected from eighteen clinicians (13 from Clinic U and 5 from Clinic R) who participated in semi-structured interviews about their experience with CFS implementation. Results suggest that clinicians at both clinics perceived more barriers than facilitators to CFS implementation. Interestingly, clinicians at the higher implementing clinic reported a higher proportion of barriers to facilitators (3:1 vs. 2:1); however, these clinicians also reported a significantly higher level of organizational and leadership supports for CFS implementation. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Development and Piloting of a Classroom-Focused Measurement Feedback System
The present study used a community partnered research method to develop and pilot a classroom-focused measurement feedback system (MFS) for school mental health providers to support teachers' use of effective universal and target classroom practices related to student emotional and behavioral issues. School personnel from seven urban elementary and middle school classrooms participated. Phase I involved development and refinement of the system through a baseline needs assessment and rapid-cycle feedback. Phase II involved detailed case study analysis of pre-to-post quantitative and implementation process data. Results suggest that teachers who used the dashboard along with consultation showed improvement in observed classroom organization and emotional support. Results also suggest that MFS use was tied closely to consultation dose, and that broader support at the school level was critical. Classroom-focused MFSs are a promising tool to support classroom improvement, and warrant future research focused on their effectiveness and broad applicability.
De-adoption of an evidence-based trauma intervention in schools: A retrospective report from an urban school district
The de-adoption of evidence-based practices (EBPs) is a largely understudied topic. The present study examined factors related to the de-adoption of an EBP for students exposed to traumatic events in a large urban school district. Qualitative interviews conducted with school clinicians and district administrators two years after the district embarked on a large-scale roll-out of the EBP distinguished between factors that impacted partial de-adoption after one year (phase 1) and complete de-adoption by the district after two years (phase 2). Phase 1 factors included organizational consistency, workforce stability, prior success, positive student outcomes, school- and district- level supports, innovation-setting fit, and innovation-related issues. Phase 2 factors included district-level leadership changes, financial and workforce instability, and shifting priorities. Study results suggest that sustainment-enhancing strategies should be included in the early stages of program implementation to most effectively adapt to school- and system- level changes.