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20.07.2016 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 6/2016

Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 6/2016

The Roles of System and Organizational Leadership in System-Wide Evidence-Based Intervention Sustainment: A Mixed-Method Study

Zeitschrift:
Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research > Ausgabe 6/2016
Autoren:
Gregory A. Aarons, Amy E. Green, Elise Trott, Cathleen E. Willging, Elisa M. Torres, Mark G. Ehrhart, Scott C. Roesch

Abstract

If evidence-based interventions (EBIs) are not sustained, investments are wasted and public health impact is limited. Leadership has been suggested as a key determinant of implementation and sustainment; however, little empirical work has examined this factor. This mixed-methods study framed using the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) conceptual framework examines leadership in both the outer service system context and inner organizational context in eleven system-wide implementations of the same EBI across two U.S. states and 87 counties. Quantitative data at the outer context (i.e., system) and inner context (i.e., team) levels demonstrated that leadership predicted future sustainment and differentiated between sites with full, partial, or no sustainment. In the outer context positive sustainment leadership was characterized as establishing a project’s mission and vision, early and continued planning for sustainment, realistic project plans, and having alternative strategies for project survival. Inner context frontline transformational leadership predicted sustainment while passive-avoidant leadership predicted non-sustainment. Qualitative results found that sustainment was associated with outer context leadership characterized by engagement in ongoing supportive EBI championing, marketing to stakeholders; persevering in these activities; taking action to institutionalize the EBI with funding, contracting, and system improvement plans; and fostering ongoing collaboration between stakeholders at state and county, and community stakeholder levels. For frontline leadership the most important activities included championing the EBI and providing practical support for service providers. There was both convergence and expansion that identified unique contributions of the quantitative and qualitative methods. Greater attention to leadership in both the outer system and inner organizational contexts is warranted to enhance EBI implementation and sustainment.

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