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Implementation of best practice treatment of traumatized youths within mental health clinics in Norway

Studies have documented that severely traumatized youth often do not receive adequate treatment

About the project

Untreated trauma may result in long-term suffering for the individual and the family, including diminished memory functioning, serious physical health problems, and high mortality rates and mental illness, as well as excessive costs for society. The last two decades of treatment efficacy studies have increasingly shown several treatment programs and interventions to be helpful in reducing psychological distress in children and adolescents. However, such knowledge is not in itself helpful for youth suffering from psychological illnesses without knowledge on how to implement these interventions in clinics where children receive care. Those who do receive services are often not receiving evidence-supported services, and widely used approaches do not necessarily have strong empirical support.

Given this gap between science and service utility, more knowledge is needed on the process of implementing evidence-supported treatments in mental health clinics. Recent research from Norway show that trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy (TF-CBT) is more effective in reducing post-traumatic stress reaction in traumatized children and adolescents as compared to treatment as usual.

We seek to contribute to the understanding of what is needed to successfully transfer this evidence-based model into mental health services. TF-CBT is currently being implemented in approximately half of the child mental health clinics in Norway, which provides us with a unique opportunity to identify critical implementation factors. Since implementation research is content neutral, results from one sector is applicable to others. As such the results from this study could pioneer the knowledge on how to successfully implement evidence-based practice that will favor both the recipients and the society as whole through decreased implementation costs, higher programme completion rates, and stronger effects.

Objectives

The overall aim is to examine factors that contribute to successful implementation of TF-CBT in mental health clinics.

  • Aim 1: To understand what factors may contribute to the clinics ability to reach the target population (reach)

  • Aim 2: To understand what contributes to successful implementation (implementation climate)

  • Aim 3: To investigate differences between implementation clinics and control clinics regarding systems for reach and whether lack of reach leads to differences in diagnosis

Financing

ExtraFoundation through the Council for Mental Health 2016 - 2018

Cooperation

The research project is a collaboration between the Department of Psychology, the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS) and international colleagues.

Published Oct. 25, 2016 12:56 PM - Last modified June 23, 2017 11:25 AM