The SBIRT program matrix: a conceptual framework for program implementation and evaluation

Addiction. 2017 Feb;112 Suppl 2:12-22. doi: 10.1111/add.13656.


Background and aims: Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of services to those at risk for the adverse consequences of alcohol and other drug use, and for those with probable substance use disorders. Research on successful SBIRT implementation has lagged behind studies of efficacy and effectiveness. This paper (1) outlines a conceptual framework, the SBIRT Program Matrix, to guide implementation research and program evaluation and (2) specifies potential implementation outcomes.

Methods: Overview and narrative description of the SBIRT Program Matrix.

Results: The SBIRT Program Matrix has five components, each of which includes multiple elements: SBIRT services; performance sites; provider attributes; patient/client populations; and management structure and activities. Implementation outcomes include program adoption, acceptability, appropriateness, feasibility, fidelity, costs, penetration, sustainability, service provision and grant compliance.

Conclusions: The Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment Program Matrix provides a template for identifying, classifying and organizing the naturally occurring commonalities and variations within and across SBIRT programs, and for investigating which variables are associated with implementation success and, ultimately, with treatment outcomes and other impacts.

Keywords: Dissemination; SBIRT; conceptual framework; evaluation; implementation; model.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Motivational Interviewing / methods*
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*