Testing a Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) interdisciplinary training program model for higher education systems.

Adrienne C. Lindsey, Nicole Janich, C. R. Macchi, Colleen Clemency Cordes, Natasha S. Mendoza, Elsa Vazquez, Calista Heath-Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: An estimated 21 million Americans meet the criteria for a substance use disorder (SUD), whereas 24% of the population engages in risky alcohol use leading to tremendous health and economic impacts (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2017). Opioid misuse is a national public health emergency, with an estimated 46,802 opioid-related deaths occurring in 2018 (National Center for Health Statistics, 2020). Despite the high prevalence of risky substance use and SUDs, preservice education related to screening for and treating SUDs in health and behavioral health professions is inadequate (Dimoff, Sayette, & Norcross, 2017; Russett & Williams, 2015; Savage et al., 2014; Tabak et al., 2012). A critical need exists for an interdisciplinary, implementation science–informed approach for developing academic training programs in the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) model within higher education systems. Method: We delineate a training model implemented within 5 health and behavioral health disciplines (nursing, social work, clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and integrated behavioral health), informed by prominent implementation scientists (Proctor et al., 2011; Rogers, 2003). Results: Faculty surveys (n = 33), interviews (n = 24), and syllabi and training records reviews indicated the Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment model was infused into course content by 89.47% of trained faculty and sustained in 90.47% of course syllabi at project close. Conclusion: The model demonstrated successful uptake and sustainability in higher education systems. Public Significance Statement: This study indicated an implementation-science informed training model can be utilized to implement new student training programs in the area of substance use disorder screening and treatment, with high rates of uptake and sustainability by faculty. The findings have implications for addressing the gap in preservice education for preparing the emerging health and behavioral health workforce who must address risky substance use in their post-graduate clinical practice. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • drug and alcohol screening
  • education
  • substance use disorders
  • training programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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