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Eval Health Prof. 2006 Jun;29(2):195-218.

Challenges to implementing and sustaining comprehensive mental health service programs.

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  • 1Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425, USA.


The President's New Freedom Commission recently concluded that the nation's mental health service delivery system is ill equipped to meet the complex needs of persons with mental illness. A major contributor to this service quality crisis has been the longstanding divergence of research efforts and clinical programs. In this article, the authors begin by describing the unique needs of persons with serious and persisting psychiatric disorders and the evolution of the mental health service system that has attempted to meet these needs. They then discuss recent efforts to upgrade services by emphasizing the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and the research underlying their development. Next, they describe the difficulties of using traditional research methods to develop and test interventions for persons receiving services at public mental health agencies. Finally, they outline the challenges confronted when trying to disseminate these EBPs to the wider clinical community.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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