Effects of supervision modality and Intensity on alliance and outcomes for the supervisee
Objective: Clinical supervision within the health professions is an important quality control mechanism to ensure good client care. The purpose of this study was to assess how supervision structure and process affect supervision outcomes for the supervisee. Design: A repeated measures within groups and between groups (individual or group supervision) design was used to explore the effects of a 6-month supervision program for staff of public sector drug and alcohol health services. Ten supervisors and 42 supervisees were allocated to either individual or group supervision conditions. Measures were completed at 3 points over a 9-month period, including a 3-month waitlist control period of no supervision. Results: Mean supervisee ratings indicated positive evaluations for supervision satisfaction and perceived effectiveness in individual and group conditions. Although an increase in burnout and decrease in wellbeing was observed during the period of supervision, these changes are hypothesized to be related to extraneous organizational issues. Enhanced perceived supervision effectiveness and positive supervisory alliance were associated with lower levels of burnout and higher levels of wellbeing and job satisfaction within the individual supervision condition. Supervisee ratings of alliance were strongly correlated with ratings of perceived supervision effectiveness in individual and group conditions. Conclusions: These results suggest that supervision can have important positive impacts on the supervisee's functioning and wellbeing when that supervision involves a positive alliance.