The CT SBIRT Health Professionals Training Program (CT HPTP) plans to implement and evaluate evidence-based SBIRT training with a diverse set of approximately 850 (300 annually) students enrolled in UConn’s medical, dental, nursing and affiliated dental hygiene programs over the 3-year grant period. Across the four student programs, demographics range from 5%-25% Hispanic, 3%-17% Black/African American, 8%-27%, Asian and 47%-96% Female. Overarching program goals focus on the integration of behavioral and physical health care services by: 1) achieving institutional support and adoption of the CT HPTP and integrating SBIRT services across a variety of health care settings within the state, and 2) creating a seamless network between specialized substance abuse and mental health treatment programs and early SBIRT intervention services across the health care system. The specific goals of the training program address workforce development by 3) increasing the number of students and faculty trained with tailored, evidence-based curriculum as measured by knowledge objectives; and 4) ensuring that trainees are proficient in applying SBIRT skills and have at least one supervised practice opportunity within a clinical setting. The program will engage students through classroom skills-building and multidisciplinary, collaborative clinical practicum experiences that will allow students to deliver a) culturally sensitive, evidence-based screening, b) brief behavioral interventions based on motivational interviewing practices, and c) quick and reliable referrals to substance abuse treatment providers when more intensive treatment is required. Approximately 75 primary faculty members across the programs will be trained as well as 250 student supervisors/preceptors across the state.
A key component of engagement and sustainability will the State’s ongoing SAMHSA-funded CT SBIRT Program, which already supports the training of health care providers state-wide. Many are located in facilities that host clinical practicum opportunities for medical, dental and nursing students. Linking the two programs provides an added layer of SBIRT-educated medical providers to reinforce student behavior and enhance model uptake across a large number of clinics and hospitals throughout the state. The collaboration will also provide a solid link to the state’s substance abuse and mental health referral system for CT HPTP students and facilities. Engagement at the provider level has been initiated through the efforts of the CT SBIRT Program and will continue with the integrated efforts of “champions” recruited for CT HPTP. CT HPTP will utilize the SBIRT Program Matrix framework to plan and evaluate the implementation activities of the training program within the professional course work and across the state. The Program Matrix, developed by our UConn team during the cross-site evaluation of the first and third cohorts of SAMHSA’s SBIRT program initiative, examines select programmatic drivers (e.g., performance sites, provider attributes, management and structural activities) that influence important implementation outcomes including acceptability, adoption, feasibility, fidelity, penetration and sustainability.