Integration and Evaluation of Substance Abuse Research Education Training (SARET) into a Master of Social Work program

Ellen Tuchman, Kathleen Hanley, Madeline Naegle, Frederick More, Sewit Bereket, Marc N. Gourevitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The Substance Abuse Research and Education Training (SARET) program is funded by the National Institutes of Drug Abuse in 2006 as a novel approach to spark interest in substance abuse research among medical, dental, nursing, and social work graduate students through a Web-based curriculum and research mentorships. This report presents the initial integration of the intervention in a Master of Social Work (MSW) program, the components of the program, and the mixed-methods evaluation of its effect on students' attitudes towards substance abuse research and treatment. Methods: SARET comprises 2 main components: stipend-supported research mentorships and a Web-based module series, consisting of 6 interactive, multimedia modules addressing core SA research topics, delivered via course curricula and in the research mentorships. An initial evaluation was designed to assess SARET's acceptability and short-term impact on participants' interest in SA research. The components of this Web-based curriculum evaluation include focus group feedback on the relevance of the modules to SW students, number of courses into which the modules were integrated with number of module completions, changes in interest in SA research associated with module completion. Results: The full series of Web-based modules has been integrated across several courses in the social work curriculum, and social work students have become integral participants in the summer mentored research experience. One hundred eighteen students completed at least 1 module and 42 students completed all 6 modules. Neurobiology, Screening, and Epidemiology were the most widely viewed modules. Students reported positive impact on their vision of SA-related clinical care, more positive attitudes about conducting research, and in some cases, change in career. Conclusions: The SARET program's modules and summer mentored research increased clinical and research interest related to SUDs, as well as interprofessional attitudes among social work students. Participants have shown some early research success. Longer-term follow-up will enable us to continue to assess the effectiveness of the program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-156
Number of pages7
JournalSubstance Abuse
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017

Keywords

  • Education
  • research
  • social work
  • substance abuse
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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