Effectiveness of workshop training for psychosocial addiction treatments: A systematic review

Scott T. Walters, Sarah A. Matson, John S. Baer, Douglas M. Ziedonis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Workshop training for psychosocial substance abuse treatment has been an important part of the transfer of evidence-based approaches into larger practice. Although they are widely used, training methods such as self-study reading, internet-based courses, and educational workshops have not traditionally been the focus of empirical investigations. Based on electronic and manual searches of the literature, we summarize 17 evaluations of workshop training that describe the training program and the educational outcomes. In general, training tends to improve attendees' knowledge, attitudes, and confidence in working with clients who have substance abuse problems. Some skill improvements, when measured, are usually seen immediately after training but are less often maintained over a longer time. Extended contact, through follow-up consultation, supervision, or feedback, appears to be necessary for the long-term adoption of skills. There are also a number of institutional factors that may influence the extent to which providers adopt new practices. Given the popularity of this training format, the role of workshop training needs to be a focus of future evaluative research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-293
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2005


  • Addiction
  • Clinicians
  • Substance abuse
  • Training
  • Workshop


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