• Article

Treatment staff turnover in organizations implementing evidence-based practices

Citation

Garner, B. R., Hunter, B. D., Modisette, K. C., Ihnes, P. C., & Godley, S. H. (2012). Treatment staff turnover in organizations implementing evidence-based practices: Turnover rates and their association with client outcomes. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 42(2), 134-142. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsat.2011.10.015

Abstract

High staff turnover has been described as a problem for the substance use disorder treatment field. This assertion is based primarily on the assumption that staff turnover adversely impacts treatment delivery and effectiveness. This assumption, however, has not been empirically tested. In this study, we computed annualized rates of turnover for treatment staff (N = 249) participating in an evidence-based practice implementation initiative and examined the association between organizational-level rates of staff turnover and client-level outcomes. Annualized rates of staff turnover were 31% for clinicians and 19% for clinical supervisors. In addition, multilevel analyses did not reveal the expected relationship between staff turnover and poorer client-level outcomes. Rather, organizational-level rates of staff turnover were found to have a significant positive association with two measures of treatment effectiveness: less involvement in illegal activity and lower social risk. Possible explanations for these findings are discussed. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.