Predictors of clinician use of exposure therapy in community mental health settings

Emily M. Becker-Haimes, Kelsie H. Okamura, Courtney Benjamin Wolk, Ronnie Rubin, Arthur C. Evans, Rinad S. Beidas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Exposure therapy is recognized as the key component of cognitive-behavioral treatment for anxiety. However, exposure is the least used evidence-based treatment in community mental health settings and is the most challenging technique for clinicians to adopt within the context of effectiveness and implementation trials. Little work has examined clinician and organizational characteristics that predict use of exposure, which is important for identifying implementation strategies that may increase its use. In a large sample of community health clinicians (N = 335) across 31 clinical practice sites, this study characterized clinician and organizational predictors of exposure use and relaxation for anxiety. Mixed effects regression analyses indicated that both clinician attitudes and an organization's implementation climate may be important levers for interventions seeking to increase clinician exposure use. Greater clinician use of relaxation strategies was also associated with less exposure use. Results point to important implications for implementing cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety, including de-emphasizing relaxation and attending to organizational climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-94
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dissemination and implementation
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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