Adolescent substance use: Assessing the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of a school-based health center workforce.

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BACKGROUND: Recent attention has focused on the potential for school-based health centers (SBHCs) to provide access points for adolescent substance use care. In 2015, the University of New Mexico began screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) training for providers at New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH)-funded SBHCs across the state. This study assesses baseline knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the New Mexico SBHC provider workforce regarding adolescent substance use and provision of services.

METHODS: In early 2015, the NMDOH administered an SBHC provider workforce survey (N = 118) and achieved a 44.9% response rate. This descriptive analysis includes all survey respondents who self-identified as a primary care or behavioral health provider in an SBHC serving middle or high school students (n = 52).

RESULTS: Among respondents, the majority (57.7%) were primary care providers, including nurse practitioners, physicians, and physician assistants. The remaining 42.3% of respondents were master's-level behavioral health providers. Only 44.2% of providers reported practicing the full SBIRT model at their SBHC, and 21.2% reported having received continuing education on SBIRT within the previous 3 years. Most respondents, 84.6%, agreed that it is the responsibility of SBHC providers to screen students for substance use using a standardized tool, and 96.2% agreed that it is the responsibility of the SBHC provider to assess for students' readiness to change. A majority reported self-efficacy in helping students achieve change in their alcohol use, illicit drug use, and prescription drug misuse: 73.1%, 65.4%, and 63.5%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that SBIRT training for New Mexico SBHC providers is timely. The authors identified gaps between recommended SBIRT practices and SBIRT delivery as well as discrepancies between reported provider self-efficacy and actual implementation of the SBIRT model. Further study will determine the effectiveness of efforts to address substance use and implement SBIRT in SBHCs.

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Substance abuse : official publication of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse







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