Methods: This was a cross-sectional web-based survey of LCSWs in the state of Florida (n = 551). Measures included: (a) LCSWs use of CAI with 3 dichotomous (yes/no) questions of use in assessment, practice, and in their personal/non-professional life; (b) CAI beliefs: CBHQ (Lie & Boker, 2004), 10-items (α=.85); and (c) CAI knowledge and attitudes: NrCAM K&A subscales (Rojas-Cooley & Grant, 2009), 9 knowledge items (α=.33), 13 attitudes items (α=.90). Descriptive and inferential statistics used (Pearsons r, ANOVA, independent samples t test, logistic regression) to test the proposed relationships.
Results: Approximately 60% of LCSWs use CAI in assessment and practice, and 90% use CAI in their personal life. There were few demographic trends; however, age was associated with more positive beliefs but less knowledge, and White participants reported significantly more positive attitudes toward CAI than Black participants. More positive attitudes toward CAI, but not beliefs or knowledge of CAI, were associated with increased odds of assessing for CAI and using it in practice with clients.
Conclusions/Implications: Overall, there is very little research on CAI to better understand the impact of beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge of CAI on assessment and practice in social work. There are a number of similarities with prior research on CAI in the medical field. Future research should examine the source and quality of CAI education for social workers, how social workers decide to use CAI with clients, and develop more reliable or valid measures for CAI knowledge among social workers. Practitioners should obtain education on CAI, use evidence-based CAI interventions that are safe with clients, and the Council on Social Work Education and National Association of Social Work should consider the development of practice and ethical guidelines for the use of CAI in social work practice.