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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Research reported in this manuscript was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award (R01DA033866).
Staton, Michele; Cramer, Jennifer; Walker, Robert; Snell-Rood, Claire; and Kheibari, Athena, "The Importance of Shared Language in Rural Behavioral Health Interventions: An Exploratory Linguistic Analysis" (2019). Behavioral Science Faculty Publications. 66.