Maintenance of Training Effects of Two Models for Implementing Evidence-Based Psychological Treatment

Psychiatr Serv. 2021 Dec 1;72(12):1451-1454. doi: 10.1176/ Epub 2021 Jun 30.


Objective: The authors compared maintenance of training outcomes for two approaches to training college therapists in interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT): train the trainer versus expert training.

Methods: A cluster-randomized trial was conducted in 24 college counseling centers. Therapists were recruited from enrolled centers, and the therapists enrolled students with depression and eating disorder symptoms. The therapists (N=184) provided data during baseline, posttraining (during the 12 months of expert consultation offered to the expert training group), and maintenance (approximately 7 months after the expert consultation ended). Outcomes were therapist fidelity (i.e., adherence and competence) and IPT knowledge.

Results: Both groups showed within-group improvement from baseline to the maintenance period for adherence, competence, and IPT knowledge; however, the train-the-trainer group had greater improvement over time in adherence and competence.

Conclusions: Given that the effects of the train-the-trainer approach were better maintained, and this model's potential to train more therapists over time, the train-the-trainer approach may help increase dissemination of evidence-based treatments such as IPT.

Keywords: College mental health; Evidence-based treatment; Staff training; Sustainability; Train-the-trainer; Training.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Allied Health Personnel
  • Counseling
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders*
  • Humans
  • Psychotherapy*
  • Students