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Implementation of alcohol and drug screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment

Nurse practitioner learner perspectives on a mobile app

Curtis, Alexa C. PhD, FNP-BC1; Satre, Derek D. PhD2,3; Ly, Khanh BS4; Wamsley, Maria MD4; Satterfield, Jason PhD4

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners: April 2019 - Volume 31 - Issue 4 - p 219–225
doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000136
Brief Report

Background and purpose: Screening, brief Intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) is a widely trained evidence-based strategy to identify and address alcohol and drug use problems. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experience of family nurse practitioner (FNP) learners in the implementation of SBIRT and the perceived clinical utility of an SBIRT mobile app.

Methods: Twenty-two FNP learners completed didactic SBIRT training and orientation to an SBIRT mobile app. At the conclusion of the study, participant focus groups explored overall SBIRT delivery (N = 19) and SBIRT mobile app utilization (N = 14). Focus group data were analyzed within a Theory of Planned Behavior framework.

Results: Participants indicated that the mobile app was useful in the ongoing development of SBIRT knowledge, skill confidence, and motivation. Learners identified the clinical context as a major factor in facilitating the delivery of SBIRT overall. Participants who did not deliver SBIRT indicated that the most significant barriers to SBIRT implementation were lack of support from clinical preceptors and health systems.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that a mobile app is an acceptable and feasible tool to improve the delivery of SBIRT. However, collaboration with preceptors and clinical training organizations is essential to optimize clinical translation.

1School of Nursing and Health Professions, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA,

2Department of Psychiatry, Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco, CA,

3Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA,

4Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA

Correspondence: Alexa C. Curtis, PhD, FNP-BC, School of Nursing and Health Professions, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94117. Tel: 415.422.2173; Fax: 415.422.6877; E-mail:

Competing interests: The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Authors' contributions: All authors contributed equally to the development of the manuscript.

Received May 09, 2018

Accepted August 16, 2018

© 2019 American Association of Nurse Practitioners
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