Therapist Financial Strain and Turnover: Interactions with System-Level Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices

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Therapist turnover is a major problem in community mental health. Financial strain, which is composed of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to the experience of economic hardship, is an understudied antecedent of therapist turnover given the tumultuous financial environment in community mental health. We prospectively examined the relationship between therapist financial strain and turnover in 247 therapists in 28 community mental health agencies. We expected greater therapist financial strain to predict higher turnover and participation in a system-funded evidence-based practice (EBP) training initiative to alleviate this effect. Controlling for covariates, financial strain predicted therapist turnover (OR 1.12, p = .045), but not for therapists who participated in an EBP training initiative. Reducing financial strain and/or promoting EBP implementation may be levers to reduce turnover.