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Implementation of contingency management in probation agencies using a case controlled longitudinal design: a PDSA study protocol

View Article: PubMed Central

ABSTRACT

Background: Moving evidence-based practices (EBPs) from clinical research settings to real world work environments is challenging. Grounded in the work of Proctor and colleagues on “bench-trench” partnerships, quality improvement studies use a bench (academic)-trench (practitioner) model that incorporates “practice knowledge” while building a feedback process throughout the various change phases (Social Work Research, 27, 67-69). Yet, few implementation studies give adequate attention to longitudinal collection of key organizational and individual level-information.

Method/design: The Justice Steps (JSTEPS) project uses a PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) quasi-experimental design that combines active and engaged researcher and practitioner learning collaborations about EBP adoption and implementation. The academic researchers and practitioners (Federal probation and judicial staff) work together to implement contingency management (CM) into routine practice. Each site participates in two learning collaborative meetings, receives six feedback reports, and accesses telephone consultation on the design and implementation of the CM procedure. The study protocol allows examination of the implementation of CM over 24 months in five settings. Each setting proceeds based on the sites’ own pace of adopting CM. This study uses a case controlled pre-post design to measure individual level data and a pre-post design for staff level outcomes. The outcomes of interest are reduced substance use and increased time on probation. The project data collection includes individual-level client data and organizational and staff data to assess the implementation of the CM in five probation agencies through three periods: inception, implementation and sustainability. Qualitative methods include observations and interviews combined with data gathering during learning sessions. Individual level client data includes attendance, status at required events, and arrests.

Discussion: This project contributes to the current understanding of how contextual factors affect implementation decisions. The protocol allows each site to develop their own tailored CM protocol and a process for implementing CM, compatible with the local socio-political environment. Feedback loops are important for fostering attention to CM implementation issues.

Electronic supplementary material: The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2194-7899-1-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

No MeSH data available.


Sample feedback report.
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Fig3: Sample feedback report.

Mentions: The JSTEPS’ web-based software program houses each site-specific CM protocol. Sites receive the software and accompanying training after they participate in the first learning session and design a CM point and reward system for their jurisdiction. The JSTEPS software program is updateable at each contact to allow initiation and renewal of behavioral contracts (written CM protocol agreements) and distribution of points and rewards. A software manual (http://www.jsteps.org) facilitates the use of the tool (Taxman et al. 2010). Criminal justice actors use the program to enroll offenders in the CM protocol, provide updates on their progress (with the points built in to avoid manual means of keeping tabulations of the earned points), and create progress reports on the point accumulation for each target behavior. POs log data regarding probationer-specific goals in up to four color-coded areas tracking: criminal behaviors (red), drug testing/results behaviors (orange), attendance (at treatment, court, with PO) behaviors (yellow) and pro-social behaviors such as getting job or a driver’s license (green). The JSTEPS software keeps track of point tallies and alerts POs when rewards are due. The progress reports are useful for monitoring the impact of CM on behavior and helping POs illustrate probationers’ steps towards meeting desired behavioral goals. The data from the software or chart reviews are used to conduct fidelity checks on the use of CM and rewards. The data is used to measure number and type of positive behaviors, use of rewards, timing of rewards (length of time to obtain points and awards), use of sanctions, and timing of sanctions. These measures are used to assess the degree to which CM was implemented. Feedback reports (on the quarterly basis) provided incremental feedback to study sites on adherence to their CM schedules. Figure 3 shows a graphic depiction of the software.Figure 3


Implementation of contingency management in probation agencies using a case controlled longitudinal design: a PDSA study protocol
Sample feedback report.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5120660&req=5

Fig3: Sample feedback report.
Mentions: The JSTEPS’ web-based software program houses each site-specific CM protocol. Sites receive the software and accompanying training after they participate in the first learning session and design a CM point and reward system for their jurisdiction. The JSTEPS software program is updateable at each contact to allow initiation and renewal of behavioral contracts (written CM protocol agreements) and distribution of points and rewards. A software manual (http://www.jsteps.org) facilitates the use of the tool (Taxman et al. 2010). Criminal justice actors use the program to enroll offenders in the CM protocol, provide updates on their progress (with the points built in to avoid manual means of keeping tabulations of the earned points), and create progress reports on the point accumulation for each target behavior. POs log data regarding probationer-specific goals in up to four color-coded areas tracking: criminal behaviors (red), drug testing/results behaviors (orange), attendance (at treatment, court, with PO) behaviors (yellow) and pro-social behaviors such as getting job or a driver’s license (green). The JSTEPS software keeps track of point tallies and alerts POs when rewards are due. The progress reports are useful for monitoring the impact of CM on behavior and helping POs illustrate probationers’ steps towards meeting desired behavioral goals. The data from the software or chart reviews are used to conduct fidelity checks on the use of CM and rewards. The data is used to measure number and type of positive behaviors, use of rewards, timing of rewards (length of time to obtain points and awards), use of sanctions, and timing of sanctions. These measures are used to assess the degree to which CM was implemented. Feedback reports (on the quarterly basis) provided incremental feedback to study sites on adherence to their CM schedules. Figure 3 shows a graphic depiction of the software.Figure 3

View Article: PubMed Central

ABSTRACT

Background: Moving evidence-based practices (EBPs) from clinical research settings to real world work environments is challenging. Grounded in the work of Proctor and colleagues on “bench-trench” partnerships, quality improvement studies use a bench (academic)-trench (practitioner) model that incorporates “practice knowledge” while building a feedback process throughout the various change phases (Social Work Research, 27, 67-69). Yet, few implementation studies give adequate attention to longitudinal collection of key organizational and individual level-information.

Method/design: The Justice Steps (JSTEPS) project uses a PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) quasi-experimental design that combines active and engaged researcher and practitioner learning collaborations about EBP adoption and implementation. The academic researchers and practitioners (Federal probation and judicial staff) work together to implement contingency management (CM) into routine practice. Each site participates in two learning collaborative meetings, receives six feedback reports, and accesses telephone consultation on the design and implementation of the CM procedure. The study protocol allows examination of the implementation of CM over 24 months in five settings. Each setting proceeds based on the sites’ own pace of adopting CM. This study uses a case controlled pre-post design to measure individual level data and a pre-post design for staff level outcomes. The outcomes of interest are reduced substance use and increased time on probation. The project data collection includes individual-level client data and organizational and staff data to assess the implementation of the CM in five probation agencies through three periods: inception, implementation and sustainability. Qualitative methods include observations and interviews combined with data gathering during learning sessions. Individual level client data includes attendance, status at required events, and arrests.

Discussion: This project contributes to the current understanding of how contextual factors affect implementation decisions. The protocol allows each site to develop their own tailored CM protocol and a process for implementing CM, compatible with the local socio-political environment. Feedback loops are important for fostering attention to CM implementation issues.

Electronic supplementary material: The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2194-7899-1-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

No MeSH data available.