Online Training Support System for Community-Based Substance Abuse Agencies

Period of Performance: 09/15/2015 - 08/31/2016


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Sheidow Consulting, Inc.
Eugene, OR 97403
Principal Investigator


PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT Drug abusing and dependent youth represent a greatly under-served population at high risk of presenting significant deleterious long-term outcomes for themselves, their families, communities and society at extraordinary long-term costs. Adolescent substance use has been linked to serious problems including automobile accidents, increased rates of risky sexual behavior which increases the youth?s chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, high rates of physical and sexual abuse, and increased risk for school dropout. Further, drug use during adolescence predicts decreased college involvement as well as direct links to unemployment and job instability in young adulthood. In general, youth with substance use disorders represent a greatly under-served population in need of effective treatment; however, adolescents and their families seeking treatment are unlikely to receive an effective evidence-based intervention. Given this, there is a clear public health need for improving and expanding the delivery of evidence-based treatments for adolescent substance use. Despite this clear need, there is a large divide between science and practice. The proposed project has the potential to overcome a gaping need within the outpatient treatment sector, which is the largest purveyor of adolescent substance use treatment in the country. Specifically, the proposed SBIR Phase II project will commercialize a targeted internet-based Training Support System (TSS) which will make it possible for community-based agencies to adopt, implement, and sustain use of Contingency Management (CM), an evidence-based substance abuse treatment for adolescents and their families. This system includes an initial computer assisted training for individual counselors, individual- and agency-level performance assessment and feedback processes, remediation training and support, organizational-level consultation on funding structures, and clinical expert guidance for counselors. This entirely internet-based training and support system is the first of its kind. It provides a cost-effective training and support platform for community- based substance abuse treatment providers, enabling them to train staff in an evidence-based practice with the necessary ongoing support to ensure fidelity and rapid uptake of the practice. The Phase I aims focused on development of the TSS and initial pilot testing. The Phase II project?s first aim is to finalize development of the TSS based on data collected in the Phase I pilot testing. These data-driven enhancements and changes will ensure high usability and commercialization potential of the TSS. The project?s second aim is to conduct a randomized trial evaluating the efficacy of the TSS in community-based settings, including qualitative evaluation of the TSS and quantitative evaluation of (a) counselor knowledge, adherence, and satisfaction and (b) clinical outcomes and client satisfaction. Phase II will conclude with the development of a market-ready CM Training Support System for community-based counselors that will provide a cost-effective strategy for increasing the use of evidence-based interventions for youth who need them and rarely have access to them.