The influence of a blended, theoretically-informed pre-implementation strategy on school-based clinician implementation of an evidence-based trauma intervention

Aaron R. Lyon, Clayton R. Cook, Mylien T. Duong, Semret Nicodimos, Michael D. Pullmann, Stephanie K. Brewer, Larissa M. Gaias, Shanon Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Individual-level implementation determinants, such as clinician attitudes, commonly influence the successful adoption of evidence-based practices, but few explicit strategies have been tested with regard to their ability to impact these key mechanisms of change. This paper reports on an initial test of a blended, theoretically informed pre-implementation strategy designed to target malleable individual-level determinants of behavior change. Beliefs and Attitudes for Successful Implementation in Schools (BASIS) is a brief and pragmatic pre-implementation strategy that uses strategic education, social influence techniques, and group-based motivational interviewing to target implementation attitudes, perceived social norms, perceived behavioral control, and behavioral intentions to implement among mental health clinicians working in the education sector. Methods: As part of a pilot trial, 25 school mental health clinicians were randomized to BASIS (n = 12) or an attention control placebo (n = 13), with both conditions receiving training and consultation in an evidence-based intervention for youth experiencing trauma (the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools). Theorized mechanisms of change (attitudes, perceived social norms, perceived behavioral control, and behavioral intentions) were assessed at baseline, post-training, and 4-month follow-up. Clinician participation in post-training consultation and intervention adoption were also tracked. Results: A series of regression models and independent sample t tests indicated that BASIS had significant, medium to large effects on the majority of its proximal mechanisms from baseline to post-training. BASIS was also associated with a greater latency between initial training in the intervention and discontinuation of participation in post-training consultation, with clinicians in the BASIS condition persisting in consultation for an average of 134 days versus 32 days for controls, but this difference was not statistically significant. At 4-month follow-up, most differences in the theorized mechanisms had attenuated, and approximately the same small number of BASIS clinicians adopted the trauma intervention as controls. Conclusion: Findings suggest that the brief BASIS pre-implementation strategy had a significant influence on its proximal mechanisms of change, but that these changes did not persist over time or translate into adoption of the trauma intervention. Implications for theory refinement, revisions to the BASIS protocol, and next steps for research surrounding individual-level implementation strategies are discussed. Trial registration: Identifier: NCT03791281. Registered 31 December 2018 - Retrospectively registered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number54
JournalImplementation Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 30 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).


  • Adoption
  • Behavioral intentions
  • Implementation strategy
  • Individual determinants
  • Theory of planned behavior
  • Trauma intervention


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