As the first attempt to synthesize the movement toward widespread implementation of evidence-based mental health practices, this groundbreaking collection articulates the basic tenets of evidence-based medicine and shows how practices proven effective by clinical services research could improve the lives of many people.
Intended to stimulate much-needed public discussion, these remarkable contributions cover both general issues, such as • Implementing practices in routine mental health settings, including strategies for disseminating evidence-based practices to staff members• Ensuring that efforts to implement such practices are informed by the knowledge and experience of administrators, clinicians, patients, and advocates• Integrating evidence-based practices with the recovery model and focusing on guidelines and algorithms for pharmacologic treatment of people with severe mental illness• Identifying the policy implications of the movement, particularly in public-sector settings, and describing eight courses of action for addressing the gap between science and practice
and specific practices, such as • Describing critical components of practices for which substantial evidence exists, such as supported employment, dual diagnosis services, and assertive community treatment• Developing an evidence base for particular populations, such as children and adolescents and geriatric patients; and for clinical subgroups, such as patients with severe mental illness and posttraumatic stress disorder-and implementing a range of practices for each population
Debate in public forums is critical to explaining the benefits of evidence-based care and allaying the fears of patients, practitioners, administrators, policy makers, and vested interest groups that evidence-based care excludes them from the decision-making process. Patients need to know that their individual characteristics, preferences, and autonomy are highly valued and won't be discounted by rigid adherence to the particular treatments. Practitioners need to know about the credibility of the evidence base and about new techniques and responsibilities and to understand that their favorite practices won't necessarily be excluded during initial attempts to implement evidence-based practices. Administrators and policy makers need to know about financing, organizing, implementing, and sustaining new practices. Finally, vested interest groups need to know that the introduction of evidence-based practices doesn't mean that what they do now is ineffective.
This unique and densely informative volume will be welcomed by mental health care professionals and by lawmakers, planners, administrators, and others who are charged with the responsibility of providing effective care to vulnerable populations.