Amber Holbrook, MSW, PhD, LSW
Main areas of interest
- Program evaluation and implementation research
- Mental health
- Substance use disorders
I first became interested in issues of social justice during my undergraduate education,
when I worked for the campus women's center and volunteered with the local Khmer refugee
population. Following college, I volunteered for a domestic violence hotline for two
years before entering an MSW program. I continued my advocacy for victims of intimate
partner violence for five years before expanding my clinical practice and research
to individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. Today my work focuses
on ways that providers and communities can optimally support individuals in recovery
to achieve wellness.
One of the ethical responsibilities of the social work profession is to ensure that
social services are effective in meeting the needs of our clients. I collaborate with
community agencies to evaluate interventions and programs and am dedicated to finding
ways to engage social work students in critically evaluating their practice. Students
in my classes have assisted programs offering mobile psychiatric rehabilitation and
homeless case management services to design evaluation plans. I am currently working
on a project to evaluate the impact of training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy for
direct care staff in residential programs.
- Holbrook, A., Hunt, S., & See, M.R. (2017, January). Implementation of Dialectical Behavior Therapy
in a Residential Setting: Dissemination and Evaluation. Poster session to be presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Social Work
Research, New Orleans, LA.
- Berger, C., & Holbrook, A. (2016, November). Development and implementation of standardized simulations for macro-level
practice. Panel to be presented at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program
Meeting, Atlanta, GA.
- Holbrook, A. (2016, November). Building capacity for program evaluation: A university-agency collaboration
model. Paper presented at WCU Research Day, West Chester, PA.
- Holbrook, A. (2016, April). Implementation of an evidence-based practice in a community agency.
Paper presented at WCU Research Day, West Chester, PA.
- Holbrook, A., & Hunt, S. (2016, January). Implementation of an evidence-based practice in a community
agency: Dissemination, evaluation, and lessons learned. Poster session presented at annual meeting of the Society of Social Work Research,
- Holbrook, A., & Chen, W. (2015, October). Teaching program evaluation to social work students: An agency collaboration model.
Interactive workshop presented at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program
Meeting, Denver, CO.
- Chen, W., & Holbrook, A. (2015, October). Learning by doing: An experiential approach to teaching program evaluation.
Paper presented at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Denver,
- Holbrook, A.M., & Chen, W-Y. (2016). Learning by doing: An experimental approach to program evaluation. Social Work Education: The International Journal. Advance online publication.
- Holbrook, A., & Nguyen, V. (2015). Medication-assisted treatment for pregnant women: A systematic review of the evidence
and implications for social work practice. Journal of the Society for Social Work Research, 6(1), 1-19.
- Holbrook, A., Jones, H.E., Heil, S.H., Martin, P.R., Stine, S.M., Fischer, G., Coyle, M.G., &
Kaltenbach, K. (2013). Induction of pregnant women onto opioid-agonist maintenance medication: An analysis
of withdrawal symptoms and study retention. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 132(1-2), 329-334.
- Holbrook, A.M., & Kaltenbach, K.A. (2011). Effectiveness of a smoking cessation intervention for methadone-maintained women:
A comparison of pregnant and parenting women. International Journal of Pediatrics, 2011, 1-6.
- Holbrook, A. (2015, January). Do specific dimensions of male gender role stress predict choice
of coping strategies? Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Society
for Social Work Research, New Orleans, LA.
I have been conducting research in the field of substance use disorders for nearly
a decade, with a specialization in maternal addiction. My research has included studies
of treatment effectiveness for opioid dependence and nicotine abuse, the prevalence
of co-occurring mental health disorders, and neonatal outcomes. I am currently collaborating
with the Living Proof Recovery Center in Voorhees, N.J., to assess the effectiveness
of Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) for individuals recovering from substance
use disorders. This project expanded services in the peer recovery center and will
evaluate the impact of WRAP on achievement of key recovery-related outcomes.
- Holbrook, A. (2015). Methadone versus buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid abuse in pregnancy: Science
and stigma. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse,41(5), 371-373.
- Holbrook, A.M., Baxter, J.K., Jones, H.E., Heil, S.H., Coyle, M.G., Martin, P.R., Stine, S.M., &
Kaltenbach, K. (2012). Infections and obstetrical outcomes in opioid-dependent pregnant women maintained
on methadone or buprenorphine. Addiction, 107(Suppl 1), 83-90.
- Kaltenbach, K., Holbrook, A.M., Coyle, M.G., Heil, S.H., Salisbury, A.L., Stine, S.M., Martin, P.R., & Jones, H.E.
(2012). Predicting treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome in infants born to women maintained
on opioid agonist medication. Addiction, 107(Suppl 1), 45-52.
- McNicholas, L.F., Holbrook, A.M., O'Grady, K., Jones, H.E., Coyle, M.G., Martin, P.R., Heil, S.H., Stine, S.M., &
Kaltenbach, K. (2012). Effect of HCV status on liver enzymes in opioid-dependent pregnant women maintained
on opioid-agonist medication.Addiction, 107(Suppl 1), 91-97.
- Holbrook, A.M., & Akbar, G. (2016, November). Incorporating environmental justice into social work
education: A theoretical framework and application. Interactive workshop presented
at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Atlanta, GA.
- Buck, P.W., Tennille, J., & Holbrook, A. (2015, October). Beyond implicit and explicit curricula: A third dimension for social
work education. Paper presented at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program
Meeting, Denver, CO.
- Graduate Faculty Appreciation Award, West Chester University - 2016
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