Academic-Policy Partnerships in Evidence-Based Practice Implementation and Policy Maker Use of Child Mental Health Research

Psychiatr Serv. 2021 Sep 1;72(9):1076-1079. doi: 10.1176/ Epub 2021 Jun 18.


Objective: Strategies are needed to improve policy makers' evidence-informed decision making and the availability of evidence-based, state-supported services. This study examined whether academic-policy partnerships could promote these outcomes.

Methods: Data from two national surveys of state mental health agency representatives were used to compare barriers to implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and policy makers' use of child mental health research in states with strong academic-policy partnerships in workforce training or in program implementation/evaluation (IE) with barriers in states with no or limited partnerships in these areas.

Results: Strong IE partnerships were associated with more confidence in research use and fewer issues with provider readiness and capacity but with more issues with EBP fidelity. Strong training partnerships were associated with fewer endorsements of lack of time as a barrier to research use.

Conclusions: Academic-policy partnerships had some benefit for states' research use and EBP implementation. Because these partnerships may reduce barriers, further research should explore characteristics of effective collaborations.

Keywords: Academic-Policy Partnerships; Child Mental Health Services; Community mental health services; Implementation Strategies; State Policy; State-university collaboration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Administrative Personnel*
  • Child
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Policy Making