Methods: In a pre/post study design, students completed online surveys before and after SBIRT training. A 12-item instrument collected demographic data and students’ prior experience and training. A 33-item pre/post survey assessed students’ knowledge of SBIRT and SUDs (13 items) and attitudes/beliefs (20 items), including their perceived confidence in their SBIRT related skills, perceived importance of these skills, and perceived barriers to using SBIRT on a 5-point Likert-type scale (1=Strongly Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree). Training satisfaction was measured post-training using a 24 item satisfaction measure using the same 5-point Likert scale. The sample included 163 foundation year MSW students (91% female; 69% White and 22% African American) and 43 BSW students (90% female; 69% White and 19% African American) from one southeastern university. Between group data were analyzed using t-tests and pre/post within group data were analyzed using paired t-tests.
Results: BSW and MSW students were statistically significantly different in age, prior experience working with clients with alcohol/drug issues, number of hours of formal training, pre-training confidence, and pre-training perceived barriers to using SBIRT. After training there was no difference in knowledge, confidence, importance, or perceived barriers between groups, and both groups showed statistically significant (p<.05) pre/post improvement in knowledge, confidence, importance, and perceived barriers. Both groups were satisfied with the training (BSW students: M=4.49, SD=0.65; MSW students: M=4.29, SD=0.75).
Conclusions and Implications: Despite study limitations, the results of this research suggest that although there were statistically significant differences between BSW and MSW students prior to the SBIRT training, both groups improved in key SUD outcomes of interest. Implications of these findings related to incorporating substance use knowledge and skills education across both the MSW and BSW curriculum will be discussed. Future directions for research and policy also will be shared.