Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States
Psychiatric Services (Impact Factor: 2.41). 10/2001; 52(9):1179-89. DOI: 10.1176/
Source: PubMed


The authors review the status, strength, and quality of evidence-based practice in child and adolescent mental health services. The definitional criteria that have been applied to the evidence base differ considerably across treatments, and these definitions circumscribe the range, depth, and extensionality of the evidence. The authors describe major dimensions that differentiate evidence-based practices for children from those for adults and summarize the status of the scientific literature on a range of service practices. The readiness of the child and adolescent evidence base for large-scale dissemination should be viewed with healthy skepticism until studies of the fit between empirically based treatments and the context of service delivery have been undertaken. Acceleration of the pace at which evidence-based practices can be more readily disseminated will require new models of development of clinical services that consider the practice setting in which the service is ultimately to be delivered.

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Available from: Kimberly Eaton Hoagwood, Jan 11, 2016
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    • "A growing body of research has emerged to suggest that organizational factors are important contextual characteristics that impact delivery of mental health services for youth in community settings (Glisson & James, 2002; Glisson et al., 2010; Hoagwood, Burns, Kiser, Heather, & Schoenwald, 2001). This research draws upon the organizational literature which suggests the importance of an individual's social context on one's attitudes, beliefs, and subsequent behavior around adoption of innovation (Glisson, 2002; Rogers, 2003). "

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    • "School-based mental health interventions are one way to reach children after a trauma and mitigate post-disaster distress. They are one of the most common venues for practitioners to deliver mental health services to children targeting a wide spectrum of issues, and screening those who may be experiencing difficulties (Arthur et al. 2002; Atkins et al. 2010; Greenberg 2004; Hoagwood et al. 2001). While schools are a way to broadly reach all children , a recent study conducted by Rolfsnes and Idsoe (2011) found that most post-disaster mental health interventions are narrowly focused with the aim to treat children with diagnoses such as PTSD. "
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    • "Importantly, the vast majority of studies testing evidence-based parenting-and family-focused interventions targeting disruptive behavior in youth have been efficacy trials prioritizing internal validity of the study (e.g., does the intervention work?). Unfortunately, these types of trials typically have limited external validity (e.g., is the intervention generalizable?) to the typical practice context, given the differences in patient, therapist, and setting characteristics (Hoagwood et al. 2001). The current effectiveness study focuses on the extent to which a treatment can work in applied practice settings. "
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