From both sides: Participant and facilitator perceptions of SMART Recovery groups



Publication Details

Kelly, P. J., Raftery, D., Deane, F. P., Baker, A. L., Hunt, D. & Shakeshaft, A. (2017). From both sides: Participant and facilitator perceptions of SMART Recovery groups. Drug and Alcohol Review, 36 (3), 325-332.


Introduction and Aims. The Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART Recovery) program provides facilitated mutual aid for people with addictions. To date, little research has examined SMART Recovery. This paper examined participant and facilitator perceptions of the helpfulness of cognitive behaviour therapy tools in SMART Recovery groups. SMART Recovery's strengths and areas for improvement were also explored, as well as overall participant satisfaction with SMART Recovery. Design andMethods. This exploratory study was conducted as part of the first national survey of SMART Recovery in Australia. Paper surveys were posted to all registered SMART Recovery groups for participants. SMART Recovery facilitators were emailed a link to an online survey. Results. Overall, satisfaction with SMART Recovery was moderate to strong. Participants and facilitators perceived the cognitive behaviour therapy tools incorporated within SMART Recovery to be helpful. Participants and facilitators nominated the group experience and the SMART Recovery tools and strategies as helpful aspects ofSMART Recovery. Participants and facilitators were concerned with improving public knowledge about SMART Recovery groups, updating the structure and content of SMART Recovery groups, and increasing training for facilitators. Discussion andConclusions.SMART Recovery displays strengths as communicated by those who utilise its services. However, there are opportunities to continue to improve SMART Recovery. Updating the training for facilitators and increasing communication between SMART Recovery Australia's head office and its facilitators may serve to improve service delivery. Future research should focus on examining the efficacy of SMART Recovery groups on participant outcomes.[

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