Efficiency in mental health practice and research

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.
General hospital psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.61). 09/2010; 32(5):477-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2010.06.005
Source: PubMed


Limited financial resources, escalating mental health-related costs and opportunities for capitalizing on advances in health information technologies have brought the theme of efficiency to the forefront of mental health services research and clinical practice. In this introductory article to the journal series stemming from the 20th NIMH Mental Health Services Research Conference, we first delineate the need for a new focus on efficiency in both research and clinical practice. Second, we provide preliminary definitions of efficiency for the field and discuss issues related to measurement. Finally, we explore the interface between efficiency in mental health services research and practice and the NIMH strategic objectives of developing improved interventions for diverse populations and enhancing the public health impact of research. Case examples illustrate how perspectives from dissemination and implementation research may be used to maximize efficiencies in the development and implementation of new service delivery models. Allowing findings from the dissemination and implementation field to permeate and inform clinical practice and research may facilitate more efficient development of interventions and enhance the public health impact of research.

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