NEW! Researchers Report Characteristics of States Providing Evidence-Based Mental Health Care Treatments in State Mental Health Systems NEW!
During the last decade, implementation science researchers have focused on the ‘how to’ of overcoming implementation challenges when rolling out evidence-based practices in state mental health systems. How to change organizational culture? How to identify social networks that promote innovative practices? How to implement with fidelity?
IDEAS researchers are now shifting this focus right to the source that mandates state-delivered mental health care that youth receive: the policy arena. Researchers are exploring how states can better integrate scientific advances into their children's mental health policymaking processes.
A study published in Implementation Science in November 2019 shows which states are more likely to adopt evidence-based mental health care practices.
The study examined an array of funding and policy variables and state adoption of evidence-based behavioral-health treatments for adults and children between 2001 and 2012.
Several modifiable factors were associated with a greater disposition toward evidence-based care: investing in research centers, convening stakeholders, and directly funding programs (rather than funding through managed care).
States are also more likely to implement EBPs in children’s mental health care if they have a greater number of ‘EBP policy supports’ in place that promote EBP adoption. And things like interagency collaboration and investment in research centers are more predictive of states having policies that are supportive of EBPs.
Data from this study come from the National Research Institute, the research arm of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD).
Source: Bruns EJ, Parker EM, Hensley S, Pullmann MD, Benjamin PH, Lyon AR, Hoagwood KE (2019). The role of the outer setting in implementation: associations between state demographic, fiscal, and policy factors and use of evidence-based treatments in mental healthcare. Implementation Sci 14, 96 (2019) doi:10.1186/s13012-019-0944-9.
State policymakers—legislators, as well as senior and mid-level officials in Medicaid, and the departments of health, mental health, and child welfare, have a lot of influence over who and what kind of health and mental health care kids receive.
"States are more likely to implement EBPs in children’s mental health care if they have a greater number of ‘EBP policy supports’ in place that promote EBP adoption," said Eric Bruns, PhD. "Investment in state research centers, or 'intermediary organizations,' emerged as a significant predictor of greater state use of evidence-based practices."
- Eric Bruns, PhD, lead author
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of Washington School of Medicine,
Co-Director of the National Wraparound Initiative.
"States with independent mental health agencies are more likely to be supportive of research-based practices; in my experience, moving mental health into omnibus agencies depresses relevant innovation,” said Mike Hogan, PhD. "Although exploratory, this is a superb study that reaches logical conclusions."
Michael Hogan, PhD,
Former New York State Commissioner of Mental Health (2007-2012)