A focus on the use of shared language to enhance congruence in interventionist-client dialogue is missing from traditional research on evidence-based practices and rural behavioral health. This study incorporates qualitative interactional sociolinguistics, which includes discourse analysis (typically written or audio recordings of face-to-face encounters with 11 clients and a study interventionist), to describe those speech patterns in a broad sense (dialect), as well as more specific use of communicative strategies to increase parity in the interaction between a rural interventionist delivering an evidence-based practice in the context of a research study with rural women opioid users in a non-therapeutic context. Study findings indicated that in the context of delivering the intervention, use of a shared language, language pattern congruence, and communication styles can greatly augment the intent of the approach with vulnerable populations. In addition, other communicative strategies connected with traditional Appalachian values – such as religion, home, and family – were also important. This study makes an important contribution to behavioral health research and practice by understanding critical factors that may influence evidence-based practice delivery, particularly in real-world settings with vulnerable populations. These findings have important implications for the utilization of creative approaches to understand critical components of the clinical interaction as indicators of fidelity.

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Published in Journal of Rural Mental Health, v. 43, issue 4.

Copyright © 2019, American Psychological Association

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© American Psychological Association, 2019. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: https://doi.apa.org/doi/10.1037/rmh0000117

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Research reported in this manuscript was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award (R01DA033866).