A recent study published in the Journal of School Psychology examined the use of implementation strategies to promote teachers’ adherence to evidence-based practices (EBP) targeting student social, emotional and behavioral (SEB) outcomes.
After evaluating 28 articles and 122 effect sizes with a total of 15 unique implementation strategies, results indicated that, on average, implementation strategies were associated with improved adherence to SEB EBPs (g = 2.32, tau = 0.77) with moderate to large effect sizes. This is an important finding given the established link between fidelity and student outcomes. Implementation strategies targeting individual-level determinants (i.e., adherence) were most often delivered during the active implementation stage and most frequently involved the use of performance-based feedback. Moderator analysis indicated that larger effects were associated with implementation strategies that used a greater number of unique behavior change techniques (BCTs) (p < .001). BCTs included strategies such as directed practice, positive reinforcement, and adapting to the context.
The availability of EBPs alone does not ensure student SEB outcomes will improve. Achieving beneficial outcomes ultimately depends on whether EBPs are consistently adopted and delivered with integrity. Active implementation strategies are more effective than large-group, one-time trainings, and multi-component strategies incorporating more are more impactful than discrete, single-component strategies. Effective active implementation strategies include performance feedback, implementation planning, and prompts/reminders.
Merle, J. L., Thayer, A. J., Larson, M. F., Pauling, S., Cook, C. R., Rios, J. A., McGinnis, J. L., & Sullivan, M. M. (2022). Investigating strategies to increase general education teachers’ adherence to evidence-based social-emotional behavior practices: A meta-analysis of the single-case literature. Journal of School Psychology, 91, 1-26.