Decision-making processes for the uptake and implementation of family-based therapy by eating disorder treatment teams: A qualitative study
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OBJECTIVE: To explore the decision-making processes involved in the uptake and implementation of evidence-based treatments (EBTs), namely, family-based treatment (FBT), among therapists and their administrators within publically funded eating disorder treatment programs in Ontario, Canada. METHOD: Fundamental qualitative description guided sampling, data collection, and analytic decisions. Forty therapists and 11 administrators belonging to a network of clinicians treating eating disorders completed an in-depth interview regarding the decision-making processes involved in EBT uptake and implementation within their organizations. Content analysis and the constant comparative technique were used to analyze interview transcripts, with 20% of the data independently double-coded by a second coder. RESULTS: Therapists and their administrators identified the importance of an inclusive change culture in evidence-based practice (EBP) decision-making. Each group indicated reluctance to make EBP decisions in isolation from the other. Additionally, participants identified seven stages of decision-making involved in EBT adoption, beginning with exposure to the EBT model and ending with evaluating the impact of the EBT on patient outcomes. Support for a stage-based decision-making process was in participants' indication that the stages were needed to demonstrate that they considered the costs and benefits of making a practice change. Participants indicated that EBTs endorsed by the Provincial Network for Eating Disorders or the Academy for Eating Disorders would more likely be adopted. DISCUSSION: Future work should focus on integrating the important decision-making processes identified in this study with known implementation models to increase the use of low-cost and effective treatments, such as FBT, within eating disorder treatment programs.
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