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One Small Step for Manuals: Computer-Assisted Training in Twelve-Step Facilitation

Diane E. Sholomskas, Kathleen M. Carroll

Objective: The burgeoning number of empirically validated therapies has not been met with systematic evaluation of practical, inexpensive means of teaching large numbers of clinicians to use these treatments effectively. An interactive, computer-assisted training program that sought to impart skills associated with the Project MATCH (Matching Alcoholism Treatments to Client Heterogeneity) Twelve-Step Facilitation (TSF) manual was developed to address this need. Method: Twenty-five community-based substance use-treatment clinicians were randomized to one of two training conditions: (1) access to the computer- assisted training program plus the TSF manual or (2) access to the manual only. The primary outcome measure was change from preto posttraining in the clinicians’ ability to demonstrate key TSF skills. Results: The data suggested that the clinicians’ ability to implement TSF, as assessed by independent ratings of adherence and skill for the key TSF interventions, was significantly higher after training for those who had access to the computerized training condition than those who were assigned to the manual-only condition. Those assigned to the computerassisted training condition also demonstrated greater gains in a knowledge test assessing familiarity with concepts presented in the TSF manual. Conclusions: Computer-based training may be a feasible and effective means of training larger numbers of clinicians in empirically supported, manual-guided therapies. (J. Stud. Alcohol 67: 939-945, 2006)