How Can Research-Based Findings Be Used to Improve Practice? Perspectives from Participants in a Statewide Outcomes Monitoring Study Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper reports on the perspectives of substance abuse treatment providers and administrators who participated in a collaborative project to implement a statewide outcome monitoring system, the California Treatment Outcome Project (CalTOP). Program providers and county administrators were invited to discuss their perceptions regarding the relationship of research to treatment practice following completion of the project. Themes identified from this research-practice meeting were augmented by observations from program site visits and focus groups conducted with project participants during start-up. Participants articulated a range of actual and potential applications for using outcome data to improve treatment practice and to inform policy development, stressed several ways in which they could build upon the data-collection infrastructure developed for the project, and identified potential areas for continued program and staff development based on outcome findings. Future steps include identifying the organizational and workforce characteristics related to a program's readiness to incorporate research-based practices.

publication date

  • 2005