Building practice research networks: Overcoming barriers to practitioner participation

Gregory Draper Gard (2003)

Practice research networks are emerging in response to a variety of convergent trends including increasing demands for practitioner accountability and the need for widespread psychotherapy effectiveness research in clinical settings. Active practitioner involvement, particularly through the use of a common assessment battery including standardized outcome measures, is critical to the success of these networks. Central to the argument here is that without significant technological innovation such as the automation of routine clinical tasks through the use of clinical information systems and the integration of outcomes monitoring within those systems, practice research networks will have a difficult time overcoming numerous historical barriers to practitioner participation in practice research. A survey was conducted to explore practitioner attitudes, expectancies, and experiences that either enhance or serve as a barrier to widespread practitioner participation in practice research networks. Additionally, the survey explored whether certain features exist that might create sufficient incentives for practitioner participation. Implications for the future not only of psychotherapy research, but also behavioral healthcare delivery systems are discussed.