The BIG Hospital SBIRT Initiative

A Learning Collaborative to Expand SBIRT into Hospitals and Other Medical Settings

Barriers and Facilitators to SBIRT Education in Social Work, Nursing and Interprofessional Education

Free webinar produced in partnership with The BIG Initiative, National SBIRT ATTC, and NORC


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Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention, treatment, and ongoing recovery supports for persons with risky and/or dependent alcohol use. Early alcohol and drug use among adolescents and young adults is linked to a range of immediate and long term consequences. Research has demonstrated that SBIRT is a promising approach for the early identification and intervention of problematic alcohol use, and there is growing evidence for its effectiveness in reducing other risky drug use. However, there is not much support for SBIRT education in undergraduate and graduate programs, despite the fact that alcohol and substance abuse prevention programs have a body of supporting evidence. Substance use education and training is often optional or specialized education, as opposed to being required course work.

This presentation will focus on identifying and addressing barriers to SBIRT education for nursing and social work programs as well as inter-professional trainings. NORC at the University of Chicago has been funded by the Conrad N. Hilton foundation to increase education and training opportunities in adolescent SBIRT within undergraduate and graduate social work and nursing programs. Results from the recent needs assessment survey conducted by NORC will guide this presentation about barriers in the field for social work and nursing students, practitioners and educators. After outlining major barriers to SBIRT education, presenters will highlight resources—including curriculum, case-based virtual simulations for students and practice role plays—offered by NORC to support SBIRT education and next steps to help address these concerns.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion, participants will understand:
  • Identify major obstacles to implementing SBIRT education in nursing and social work.
    • Compare how these barriers affect the two fields.
  • Describe emerging preliminary strategies to overcome such barriers to implementing SBIRT education.
  • Understand what resources NORC offers to support SBIRT education.

Hildie Cohen, Med, MA

Survey Director in the Health Sciences Department, NORC at the University of Chicago

Ms. Cohen has significant expertise in project management, research design, reporting development, web resource management, and data governance. Hildie joined the NORC’s SBIRT Team in the fall of 2015 to assist in project management and in developing additional resources and training materials for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s “Integrating Adolescent SBIRT throughout Social Work and Nursing Education” program. Hildie has a Master’s in Sociology from Northwestern University and a Master’s in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Hannah Joseph, BA

Research Analyst in the Public Health Research Department, NORC at the University of Chicago

Ms. Joseph has worked on all aspects of data collection projects including institutional review board protocol, field interviewer trainings, literature reviews, data management and analysis. In her work on NORC’s “Integrating Adolescent SBIRT throughout Social Work and Nursing School Education” project, Hannah develops content and manages the curriculum revisions for the Learner’s Guide to Adolescent SBIRT. Additionally, Hannah conducts the analysis of the needs assessment data to help identify barriers to SBIRT education that NORC can help address. Prior to her research career, Hannah worked as a case manager for chronically homeless adults. Hannah will begin her doctorate in Clinical Community Psychology at Georgia State University in the fall of 2016.

Danielle Noriega, BS

Research Analyst in the Public Health Research Department, NORC at the University of Chicago

Ms. Noriega supports work under a wide range of topics including behavioral health, maternal and child health, women’s health, health communications and public health law. Danielle worked on NORC’s “Integrating Adolescent SBIRT throughout Social Work and Nursing School Education” project since its start in Fall 2014 supporting the Adolescent SBIRT Learning Collaborative of nursing and social work educators, designing and disseminating project communications, and supporting the RFA stipend program. Prior to NORC, Danielle worked on program evaluation for maternal and child health programs in New Delhi, India and designed health promotional campaigns for substance use and sexual health on a college campus. Danielle has a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health and Sociology from the College of William and Mary and will begin a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health at the University of Illinois – Chicago in the fall 2016.


Tracy McPherson, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, NORC at the University of Chicago