186114 Screening and Brief Intervention in a Mental Health Clinic: Public Health Agenda or Mental Health Therapy?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 9:00 AM

Richard A. Rawson, PhD , Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Suzanne E. Spear, MS , School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Elizabeth Gong-Guy, PhD , Student Psychological Service, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Colby Moss, LCSW , Student Psychological Service, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Shannon Schroeder, BA , Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
The development and dissemination of screening and brief intervention (SBI) technologies for substance abuse have burgeoned in the past decade due to international initiatives led by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Drug Control Program, and U.S. efforts by NIAAA and SAMHSA. While the benefits of SBI for reducing alcohol and tobacco use are well-established, few reports have emerged that describe how clinicians implement SBI technologies in general medical clinics and other community settings. The diffusion of SBI in primary care settings has been described by researchers with the World Health Organization as “difficult business.” The benefits and challenges of doing SBI in alternative settings, such as mental health clinics, have been unexplored. This presentation will describe the UCLA Access to Care project, which has integrated the Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Use Involvement Screening Tool (ASSIST) and brief intervention into routine care at the university counseling center. To evaluate the implementation process, the project tracked the number of positive screens and ASSISTs administered, conducted qualitative interviews with staff and administrators, and participated in staff meetings. This presentation will describe the screening and brief intervention program and examine the implementation process using the diffusion of innovations conceptual framework by Klein and Sorra (1996). Preliminary findings suggest that the ASSIST is a useful tool for screening college students; however, more work is needed to reduce the time of administration and to address problems of “fit” between the ASSIST and the professional orientations of mental health clinicians.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the main features of the ASSIST screening and brief intervention tool. 2. Identify some of the main determinants of effective implementation of innovations in organizational settings. 3. Discuss some of the advantages and challenges of implementing the ASSIST in a mental health clinic.

Keywords: ASSIST Program, Screening

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am PI on a SAMHSA screening and brief intervention grant. I have been involved with the ASSIST working group led by the World Health Organization. I have conducted training on screening and brief intervention for a number of provider groups.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.