244324 Management practices of program directors on the front-lines of addiction treatment

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Maria Torres, MA , Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Sharon Reif, PhD , Institute for Behavioral Health, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Constance M. Horgan, ScD , Institute for Behavioral Health, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Introduction: Despite an ongoing focus on evidence-based clinical practices, many individuals relapse following treatment for substance use disorders. Organizational factors may contribute to quality of care, and management practices are an element that may be key. This study aims to provide the perspective of front-line managers highlighting areas of concern and identifying areas for future training.

Methods: This study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, presents qualitative data from in-person interviews with program directors of Massachusetts facilities that provide detoxification, short-term intensive treatment, or transitional support services (n=22, 76% response rate)

Findings: Program directors varied widely in terms of management experience prior to their current position. Most program directors had a clinical background that they felt was useful to them in their work, especially in terms of how to motivate staff and navigate conflicts. Program directors reported having limited access to management training outside of corporate compliance and building management provided when they took the position. All program directors stressed the importance of meeting the client's needs and creating an environment that was respectful of both clients and staff.

Conclusion: In a time with heightened focus on quality of care it is essential to consider nuances in management practices that may affect treatment quality. By taking into consideration the perspectives of front-line managers this research provides essential information regarding program manager needs and what administrators and policy makers can be doing to support front-line managers in their efforts to improve the overall care experience for their clients.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership

Learning Objectives:
1. Present program director’s views of the skills and training needed to run a successful residential detoxification/stabilization program 2. Discuss if and how organizations support managers in building and augmenting managerial skills 3. Identify key areas of concern for managers at these facilities

Keywords: Treatment System, Management

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have participated in the research design, data collection, and data analysis for this study.
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.