Feasibility, Acceptability and Preliminary Implementation of the Cornerstone Program for Transition-Age Youth with Mental Health Conditions: A Mixed Methods Study

Andrea R. Cole, Danielle R. Adams, Shelly Ben-David, Beth Sapiro, Melissa L. Villodas, Victoria Stanhope, James Jaccard, Michelle R. Munson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transition-age youth with mental health conditions from low socio-economic backgrounds often drop out of mental health services and, as such, do not receive therapeutic doses of treatment. Cornerstone is an innovative team-based, multi-component intervention designed to address the clinical needs of this understudied population through coordination and extensive provision of services in vivo (in the community). The present study used a convergent parallel mixed-methods design. Researchers collected quantitative and qualitative data during a small developmental trial, analyzing the two data types independently and then exploring them side-by-side to evaluate feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary implementation. Semi-structured interviews and quantitative surveys were conducted with transition-age youth, clinic staff, and policy makers. Qualitative interview guides were developed using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to build understanding on implementation determinants alongside feasibility and acceptability. A two-group preliminary randomized trial was conducted to assess feasibility outcomes, such as recruitment, randomization, measurement performance, and trends in pre- to post- outcomes. Using grounded theory coding techniques, transcripts were coded by multiple coders, and themes were identified on acceptability and implementation. The team recruited fifty-six transition-age youth. Randomization was used in the study and the intervention was provided without incident. Results suggest individual components with both the social worker and mentor were more acceptable to participants than group-based approaches. Thematic analyses revealed themes associated with the inner, outer, and policy contexts describing a range of critical implementation determinants. Findings suggest that Cornerstone is feasible, acceptable, and promising for transition-age youth. It represents an innovative multi-component intervention worth exploring for transition-age youth with mental health conditions in a larger efficacy trial. Trial registration: The trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02696109) on 22 April 16, Protocol Record R34-MH102525-01A1, New York University, Cornerstone program for transition-age youth with serious mental illness: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-519
Number of pages14
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Acceptability
  • Feasibility
  • Implementation
  • Mental health
  • Transition-age youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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