. "4 Benefits and Challenges of Research Collaboration for Community-Based Treatment Providers." Bridging the Gap Between Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships with Community-Based Drug and Alcohol Treatment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1998.
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However, the list of areas where collaboration between treatment and research will improve theory and enhance practice may be almost infinite.
The degree of organizational development, the organization's perspective on the basis of treatment knowledge, the type of research, and the type of research participation interact to shape an organization's potential involvement in a research endeavor. While it is not possible to identify specific roles for all community-based organizations in all research activities, it is anticipated that collaboration among CBOs of all types and theoretical orientations will enhance treatment programs and strengthen research.
The treatment program's role can be a relatively passive one (for example, contributing to surveys, databases and facilitating access to patients) but they should expect respectful treatment and adequate compensation, as well as to gain knowledge from their participation. Active participation in research requires a greater commitment of staff and agency resources. Clinicians will work with researchers in the definition of research questions and the design of data collection. Management should have an advisory role and the opportunity to review research reports to enhance the interpretation of results. The more advanced organizations are the ones likely to become full partners in treatment research. Such programs may have investigators on staff and have the capacity to serve as principal investigators in research. They will usually have established collaborations with academic or other research institutions and applications for grants will acknowledge their partnership. As their research staff and experience grows, they may become the applicant agency for grants where the source of funding and the area of research makes this appropriate. Some opportunities offered by major gaps between what is know and what is practiced in drug abuse treatment are summarized in Appendix I, Table I-1. Examples of research areas where the treatment program may be the appropriate applicant are also included in Appendix I which describes collaboration opportunities in four areas:
adolescent outreach and early intervention
outreach strategies for early intervention and follow-up, and
researching nontraditional interventions.
In summary, the dimensions described in this chapter interact to shape the linkages that tie a clinical program to a research endeavor. Such linkages between research and practice should not only result in a research product that is more relevant, and adaptable, but should also provide direct benefits to the treatment program, its staff, and its consumers.