Methods: A qualitative study was conducted with community mental health supervisors and implementation coordinators in a Midwestern state. Supervisors and implementation coordinators were identified through an open call to participate in focus groups facilitated by two investigators who study family focused EBP implementation in community mental health settings. Participants were asked to join one of five scheduled focus groups and prompted via a semi-structured interview process to share their experiences and suggestions. Interviews were conducted via Zoom and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was utilized to determine salient themes.
Results: Four focus groups were conducted and comprised a total of 15 participants who all identified as having a supervision or coordination role in which they were responsible for supporting at least one EBP. Themes emerged around the following: 1) ambiguity of the identified role (supervisor and implementation coordinator), 2) demand for supervisory time outside of EBP support, 3) identified need for training, 4) significant concerns about staff retention, and 5) considerations due to COVID-19.
Conclusions and Implications: This study laid an important foundation for considering the experience of supervisors and implementation coordinators who support EBP delivery at the local agency level. These findings have significant implications for practice that include opportunities for training in supervisory tools that can support EBP adoption in community settings. Results are applicable to community health providers making strategic decisions at the local and system of care level about investment in EBP training and workforce development. Continued research is needed to further understand supervisors’ experiences with EBP implementations and to examine the effectiveness of best practices they identified as positive toward implementation efforts.