What Motivates Mental Health Clinicians-in-Training to Implement Evidence-Based Assessment? A Survey of Social Work Trainees

  • Viktor LushinEmail author
  • Emily M. Becker-Haimes
  • David Mandell
  • Jordan Conrad
  • Victor Kaploun
  • Sophia Bailey
  • Ai Bo
  • Rinad S. Beidas
Original Article


Mental health clinicians do not consistently use evidence-based assessment (EBA), a critical component of accurate case conceptualization and treatment planning. The present study used the Unified Theory of Behavior to examine determinants of intentions to use EBA in clinical practice among a sample of Masters’ level social work trainees (N = 241). Social norms had the largest effect on intentions to use EBA. Injunctive norms in reference to respected colleagues accounted for the most variance in EBA intentions. Findings differed for respondents over 29 years of age versus younger respondents. Implications for implementation strategies and further research are discussed.


Pre-service implementation strategies Behavioral health Evidence-based assessment Measurement-based care 



The authors express cordial gratitude to Benjamin Lane, Rachel Shin, H’Vanna Samuels, Lily Kirschenbaum, Unique Starks, Leilei Huang, and Matthew Macauley, for coordinating and conducting data collection and other important functions during this research project.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by New York University Internal Renew Board (IRB Number: IRB-FY2017-603). This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.New York University School of Social WorkNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.National Research University Higher School of EconomicsSt. PetersburgRussia

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