Document Type


Degree Name



Department of Public Health & Preventive Medicine


Oregon Health & Science University


More than 23 million people in the United States need of treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use. Significant proportions of individuals receiving treatment either relapse or drop out before treatment completion. While organizations such as The National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network have been working to bridge the gap between emerging treatment methods and practices, intention to implement such methods continues to be a barrier. Specifically, perceived social norms and attitudes have been shown to influence intention to implement evidence-based practices in substance abuse treatment centers. Among the emerging treatment modalities being studied for implementation, exercise shows a promising ability to stimulate the same reward pathway as alcohol and other substances. To assess the utilization and implementation of exercise as a treatment regimen for substance abuse in treatment centers, attitudes, perceived social norms, and intentions were assessed for 100 treatment program staff across nine treatment sites. A multivariate linear regression model examined the associations between staff exercise behavior, attitudes, and perceived social norms with the intention to implement exercise as a therapy in treatment centers. Nearly three-quarters, or 71%, of the variance in intention to implement exercise could be explained by attitudes and social norms. Specifically, perceived social norms were positively and significantly associated with the intention to implement exercise (p




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