A Preliminary Investigation of Provider Attitudes Toward a Transdiagnostic Treatment: Outcomes from Training Workshops with the Unified Protocol

Amantia A. Ametaj, Julianne Wilner Tirpak, Clair Cassiello-Robbins, Rachel Snow, Madeleine M. Rassaby, Kelsey Beer, Shannon Sauer-Zavala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Evidence-based psychological treatments (EBPTs) for common mental health conditions are efficacious but remain underutilized in clinical service settings. Novel transdiagnostic and modular approaches that treat several disorders simultaneously promise to address common barriers to the dissemination and implementation of traditional EBPTs. Despite the promise that transdiagnostic treatments hold, the claims that these interventions can be more easily disseminated and implemented have not been widely tested. The present study examined whether a transdiagnostic treatment, the Unified Protocol (UP), addresses some barriers to dissemination and implementation for clinicians. Exploratory aims of the current study were to examine the effects of a UP introductory training workshop on clinician attitudes and behaviors by: (1) evaluating UP knowledge and treatment delivery, (2) determining relationships between clinician characteristics and their knowledge acquisition, satisfaction with UP, and UP penetration, and (3) exploring clinicians’ perceptions of the UP’s characteristics utilizing mixed methods. Workshop participants showed a good understanding of UP treatment concepts following training, and over a third of survey respondents reported use of the intervention 6-months after training. Positive attitudes toward EBPTs and fewer years of clinical practice were associated with greater satisfaction with the UP. Clinicians held positive views of the UP’s flexibility and relative advantage over standard EBPTs but held negative views toward the manual’s design and packaging. Overall, our findings suggest that clinicians may view transdiagnostic treatments such as the UP favorably and may consider them appealing over standard EBPTs. However, barriers associated with traditional EBPTs may extend to transdiagnostic treatments like the UP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-682
Number of pages15
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research study did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. The first author (Dr. Ametaj) was supported by NIMH T32MH17119-33 during parts of drafting this manuscript. Dr. Shannon Sauer-Zavala receives royalties for the Unified Protocol Patient Workbook and Therapist Guides.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC part of Springer Nature.


  • Adopter characteristics
  • Dissemination and implementation
  • Evidence-based treatment
  • Intervention characteristics
  • Intervention penetration
  • Transdiagnostic treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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