Title page for ETD etd-05132010-214845

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Nunley, Robyn Suzanne
Author's Email Address nunleyrs@yahoo.com
URN etd-05132010-214845
Title Mental Health Clinicians’ Perceptions, Knowledge, Level of Training, and Utilization of Evidence Based Practices with a Specific Focus on Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Johnson, Scott W. Committee Chair
Galway, Alison Committee Member
Keeling, Margaret L. Committee Member
McWey, Lenore M. Committee Member
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Evidence Based Practice
Date of Defense 2010-04-30
Availability unrestricted
In the past decade the push for utilization of evidence-based practice (EBP) in mental health has increased dramatically. Due to managed healthcare, lowered spending on state and federal mental health budgets, and requirements by funding agencies such as Medicaid, it is imperative that mental health clinicians (MHCs) be trained in and utilize EBPs to improve funding and ensure continuity of best practice in clinical interventions with clients. Minimal research exists on MHCs and their knowledge and use of EBPs. The present study examined MHCs’ perceptions, knowledge, training, and utilization of EBPs, with a specific focus on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). To date, it is the most prominent and effective EBP for treating Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and associated parasuicidal and suicidal behaviors. Current research supports its effectiveness in treating a myriad of other commonly treated disorders.

The exploratory study provides insight into MHCs level of interest in receiving more EBP awareness and DBT training. Results indicate that though clinicians have received training in EBP and DBT, most of that training has been encouraged through career settings. Age of the clinician, years in practice, and type of training background are predictors of level of education, knowledge and training. Results show the majority of clinicians are interested in EBP, aware of the impact EBP can have on treatment effects, and report desire to have more training in EBPs and DBT specifically. These results could provide a necessary bridge between disciplines to allow clinicians, irrespective of training, to provide the most clinically effective treatments to clients.

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