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Do Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Affiliate Providers Adhere to EAP Concepts? An Examination of Affiliate Fidelity to EAP Theory & Practice. David A. Sharar EAPA 2007 San Diego October 27 Research Forum dsharar@chestnut.org. EAP affiliates.

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david a sharar eapa 2007 san diego october 27 research forum dsharar@chestnut org

Do Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Affiliate Providers Adhere to EAP Concepts? An Examination of Affiliate Fidelity to EAP Theory & Practice

David A. Sharar

EAPA 2007 San Diego

October 27 Research Forum

dsharar@chestnut.org

eap affiliates
EAP affiliates
  • Available "on demand" and paid fixed fee to see EAP clients on behalf of a vendor
  • Most are based in private individual or group practices, or agency/hospital clinics
  • Affiliates represent a mix of "helping" professionals
  • EAP work likely represents a small portion of the affiliate's caseload
statement of the problem
Statement of the problem
  • EAP field has identified specific competencies unique to the delivery of "EAP"
  • Most prevalent delivery system in EAP is the "Affiliate Network Model"
  • Affiliates, as general mental health practitioners, may or may not deliver EAP as conceptualized
  • Need to investigate whether affiliates believe they adhere to EAP concepts
overall design research questions
Overall design & research questions
  • Nation-wide (“one-time”) survey of EAP affiliates using random probability sample
  • Goal is to provide a descriptive "portrait" of how affiliates apply EAP concepts in their practices

Two research questions:

    • How are EAP concepts understood and utilized among affiliates?
    • What are the commonalities & differences in terms of how affiliates treat EAP versus other cases?
status of research on eap affiliates
Status of research on EAP affiliates
  • Paucity of published scholarly research
  • About 10 citations (mostly opinion, anecdotal observation, group consensus)
status of research on eap affiliates1
Status of research on EAP affiliates

These citations refer to 5 concerns

  • Overlapping EAP and MBHO networks
  • Duplicate purpose with mental health benefits
  • EAP affiliate shortcomings
  • Lack of local workplace integration
  • Affiliate dissatisfaction
sampling frame design
Sampling frame & design
  • No resource that covers the "universe" of EAP affiliates
  • emindhealth (a provider of network services) appears to be a microcosm of the "universe"
  • Random probability sample drawn from emindhealth list of affiliates (3,000)
  • 222 completed questionnaires submitted (SE of 3.5)
administration
Administration
  • Self-administered over Internet as web-based survey ("Zoomerang" was hosting service)
  • Listserv comprised of e-mail addresses of randomized affiliates ("respondents")
  • Potential respondents received a pre-notification e-mail from emindhealth
  • Pre-notification followed by an invitation with a link to the questionnaire, & up to 4 reminders
  • Completed questionnaires submitted to secure server (under control of the investigator)  
questionnaire construction
Questionnaire Construction
  • Core components of EAP used to provide conceptual basis (e.g. components "mapped" to questions)
  • Uses mostly close-ended questions with scaled responses
  • Two open-ended questions allows for some methodological mix
  • Six subject matter experts (from Editorial Review Board of a Journal) reviewed the design and content
  • Field pretest conducted with 15 actual respondents
validity threats
Validity Threats
  • Desirability: Respondents may want their answers to be perceived as "correct"
  • Memory or unavailable info:  Recall of past events is subject to error
  • No direct observation: Study measures "perceptions" that may not reflect actual behavior
data analysis plan
Data Analysis Plan
  • Data converted into Excel and dumped in SPSSx 14.0.2
  • Descriptive statistics show characteristics of sample
  • Chi-square used to compare "EAP" cases to "General" cases
  • Findings presented with written narrative supported by tabular & graphic results
  • Open-ended questions analyzed by content analysis/id of themes
slide13

Licensed or certified disciplines (N = 222)

(81% masters level and 19% doctorate level)

primary theory or model
% Primary theory or model

Chi-square (df=16)=387.68, p=.000

slide23

Approximate % of EAP cases where assessed problem was improved or resolved within the EAP:

slide27

How often over past year did you provide a direct “ONSITE” service at an employer’s workplace:

slide28

In terms of therapeutic approach and selection of interventions, are EAP clients generally treated the same as non-EAP clients:

analysis of open ended question 183 comments out of 222 or 82 response rate
Analysis of open-ended question(183 comments out of 222, or 82% response rate)

Describe how your approach to EAP is similar or different from your approach to general practice counseling?"

Representative themes include:

  •  "Less sessions with EAP"
  • "Little difference except EAP has fewer visits"
  • "Only difference is some EAPs require switching therapists for referrals"
  • "EAP is mainly for 'here & now' issues, not long-term"
  • "EAP focus is on most pressing problem due to short # visits"