Community stakeholder preferences for evidence-based practice implementation strategies in behavioral health: a best-worst scaling choice experiment

Feb 04, 2021 | Williams

BACKGROUND: Community behavioral health clinicians, supervisors, and administrators play an essential role in implementing new psychosocial evidence-based practices (EBP) for patients receiving psychiatric care; however, little is known about these stakeholders’ values and preferences for implementation strategies that support EBP use, nor how best to elicit, quantify, or segment their preferences. This study sought to quantify these stakeholders’ preferences for implementation strategies and to identify segments of stakeholders with distinct preferences using a rigorous choice experiment method called best-worst scaling.

METHODS: A total of 240 clinicians, 74 clinical supervisors, and 29 administrators employed within clinics delivering publicly-funded behavioral health services in a large metropolitan behavioral health system participated in a best-worst scaling choice experiment. Participants evaluated 14 implementation strategies developed through extensive elicitation and pilot work within the target system. Preference weights were generated for each strategy using hierarchical Bayesian estimation. Latent class analysis identified segments of stakeholders with unique preference profiles.

RESULTS: On average, stakeholders preferred two strategies significantly more than all others-compensation for use of EBP per session and compensation for preparation time to use the EBP (P < .05); two strategies were preferred significantly less than all others-performance feedback via email and performance feedback via leaderboard (P < .05). However, latent class analysis identified four distinct segments of stakeholders with unique preferences: Segment 1 (n = 121, 35%) strongly preferred financial incentives over all other approaches and included more administrators; Segment 2 (n = 80, 23%) preferred technology-based strategies and was younger, on average; Segment 3 (n = 52, 15%) preferred an improved waiting room to enhance client readiness, strongly disliked any type of clinical consultation, and had the lowest participation in local EBP training initiatives; Segment 4 (n = 90, 26%) strongly preferred clinical consultation strategies and included more clinicians in substance use clinics.

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of four heterogeneous subpopulations within this large group of clinicians, supervisors, and administrators suggests optimal implementation may be achieved through targeted strategies derived via elicitation of stakeholder preferences. Best-worst scaling is a feasible and rigorous method for eliciting stakeholders’ implementation preferences and identifying subpopulations with unique preferences in behavioral health settings.

PubMed Abstract

Williams, N. J., Candon, M., Stewart, R. E., Byeon, Y. V., Bewtra, M., Buttenheim, A. M., . . . Beidas, R. S. (2021). Community stakeholder preferences for evidence-based practice implementation strategies in behavioral health: a best-worst scaling choice experiment. BMC Psychiatry, 21(1), 74. doi:10.1186/s12888-021-03072-x