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

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2005 Dec;29(4):283-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2005.08.006.


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.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Education*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*