Implementing evidence-based practices in routine mental health service settings

Psychiatr Serv. 2001 Feb;52(2):179-82. doi: 10.1176/


The authors describe the rationale for implementing evidence-based practices in routine mental health service settings. Evidence-based practices are interventions for which there is scientific evidence consistently showing that they improve client outcomes. Despite extensive evidence and agreement on effective mental health practices for persons with severe mental illness, research shows that routine mental health programs do not provide evidence-based practices to the great majority of their clients with these illnesses. The authors define the differences between evidence-based practices and related concepts, such as guidelines and algorithms. They discuss common concerns about the use of evidence-based practices, such as whether ethical values have a role in shaping such practices and how to deal with clinical situations for which no scientific evidence exists.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Health Plan Implementation*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Care Team
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational
  • Schizophrenia / rehabilitation*