Biography Dr. Aarons is a clinical and organizational psychologist, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego (UCSD), a faculty member in the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, Co-Director of the UCSD Dissemination and Implementation Science Center (DISC), and Director of the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center (CASRC). For the past 20 years, Dr. Aarons' research, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIMH and NIDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has focused on implementation science with emphases on conceptual frameworks, implementation strategies, scale-up strategies, pragmatic measure development, study design, management and organizational issues, and evidence-based practice implementation in public sector substance abuse treatment, mental health, HIV prevention, and social services settings in the US, Mexico, sub-Saharan Africa, and Europe. His research has developed implementation conceptual frameworks (e.g., the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment Framework), measures of individual and organizational factors that influence implementation (e.g., Evidence-Based Practice Attitudes Scale, Implementation Climate Scale), and developed and tested implementation strategies (e.g., the Leadership and Organizational Change Intervention). His research has developed implementation conceptual frameworks (e.g., the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment [i.e., EPIS] framework), measures of individual and organizational factors that influence implementation (e.g., Evidence-Based Practice Attitudes Scale, Implementation Leadership Scale, Implementation Climate Scale), and developed and tested implementation strategies (e.g., the Leadership and Organizational Change Intervention [LOCI]; Interagency Collaborative Team [ICT] strategy). The LOCI intervention is designed to promote the implementation of evidence-based practice by facilitating more effective implementation leadership, and he is currently testing it in a NIDA-funded cluster randomized controlled trial in public sector treatment programs in two states (R01DA038466) and in community behavioral health in three other states (R01MH119127) and in low-and middle income countries (R01MH113722).
Research Focus Dr. Aarons' current research focuses on identifying and improving leadership and organizational factors that impact quality of mental health, substance abuse, and HIV services and implementation of evidence-based practice in real-world practice settings. Dr. Aarons and colleagues have developed, and are testing, leadership and organizational development strategies to improve implementation and sustainment of evidence-based practices. He and his colleagues have also developed brief and practical measures of implementation leadership, attitudes toward adopting evidence-based practice, implementation climate, and implementation citizenship behaviors.
Clinical and Teaching Focus Dr. Aarons leads the UCSD Implementation Science Seminar and gives numerous seminars and presentations on theory and practical application of research findings to improve implementation of evidence-based practice. He was an invited speaker at the National Institutes of Health sponsored conferences on dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practice, and has provided training and lectures across the United States. He has served as an implementation science trainer for the Fogarty International Center/NICHD/PEPFAR PMTCT Alliance and Adolescent HIV Implementation Science Alliance (AHISA) focusing on implementation in sub-Saharan Africa and as faculty for the NIH Training Institutes for Dissemination and Research in Health. He is core faculty for the NIMH/NIDA/VA funded Implementation Research Institute, faculty for the NIH supported Training Institutes in Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health, and the annual Kings College London Implementation Science Master Class. He has also provided training and consultation for the Norway Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, and the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden).
Aarons, G.A. (2004). Mental health provider attitudes toward adoption of evidence-based practice: The Evidence-Based Practice Attitude Scale (EBPAS).
Mental Health Services Research, 6(2), 61-74.
- Aarons, G.A., Reeder, K. Miller, C.J., & Stadnick, N.A. (2020). Identifying strategies to promote team science in dissemination and implementation research. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 4(3), 180-187. PMCID: PMC7348006
- Aarons, G.A., Sklar, M., Mustanski, B., Benbow, N., & Brown, C.H. (2017). “Scaling-Out” Evidence Based Interventions to New Populations or New Health Care Delivery Systems. Implementation Science, 12(1), 111. PMCID: PMC5588712
- Aarons, G.A., Sommerfeld, D. H., & Walrath-Greene, C. M. (2009). Evidence-based practice implementation: the impact of public versus private sector organization type on organizational support, provider attitudes, and adoption of evidence-based practice. Implementation Science, 4(1), 83. PMCID: PMC2813227
Aarons, G.A., Ehrhart, M.G., Farahnak, L.R., & Sklar, M. (2014). Aligning Leadership Across Systems and Organizations to Develop a Strategic Climate for Evidence-Based Practice Implementation.
Annual Review of Public Health, 35,255-274.
Aarons, G.A. & Sommerfeld, D.H. (2012). Leadership, Innovation Climate, and Attitudes toward Evidence-Based Practice during a Statewide Implementation.
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 51, 423-431.
- Hurlburt, M.,
Aarons, G.A., Fettes, D., Willging, C., Gunderson, L., Palinkas, L., & Chaffin, M. (2014). Interagency Collaborative Teams for Capacity Building to Scale-Up of Evidence-Based Practice: Structure and Process.
Children and Youth Services Review, 39, 160-168.
(NIDA) Statewide System and Organizational Strategy for Evidence-Based Practice Implementation and Sustainment in Substance Use Disorder Treatment
(NIDA) Testing the Leadership and Organizational Change for Implementation (LOCI) Intervention in Substance Abuse Treatment Programs
William T. Grant Foundation 187931 Community Academic Partnership for Translational Use of Research Evidence (CAPTURE) in Policy and Practice
(NIMH) Development and Testing of an Evidence Based Intervention Sustainment Measure
SD County Contract (County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency) In-Home Outreach Teams Services Evaluation (IHOT)-Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT)