Assessing the Evidence Base for Behavioral Health Services

This Assessing the Evidence Base Series (AEB Series) provides science-supported information about selected mental health and substance abuse services for health care leaders.

Assessing the Evidence Base for Behavioral Health Services
The current policy environment provides the opportunity for federal and state agencies to work with private and nonprofit sectors to transform the American health care system through development of a comprehensive set of community-based, recovery-oriented, and evidence-based services for people with mental and substance use disorders. This Assessing the Evidence Base Series (AEB Series) provides science-supported information about selected mental health and substance abuse services for health care leaders. Series authors conducted reviews of research on 14 behavioral health services: behavioral management for children and adolescents, trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy for children and adolescents, recovery housing, residential treatment for individuals with substance use disorders, peer support services for individuals with serious mental illnesses, peer recovery support for individuals with substance use disorders, permanent supportive housing, supported employment, substance abuse intensive outpatient programs, skill building, intensive case management, consumer and family psychoeducation, medication-assisted treatment with methadone, and medication-assisted treatment with buprenorphine. The goal of the AEB Series is to provide a framework for decision makers to build a modern addictions and mental health service system for the people who use these services and the people who provide them. The framework is intended to support decisions about the services that are likely to be most effective. This introduction to the AEB Series explains the methods used to conduct the reviews, rate the research evidence, and describe the effectiveness of the services. The rationale underlying recommendations for implementation of the services is also discussed, and suggestions are offered for future research.

Medication-Assisted Treatment with Buprenorphine
Buprenorphine maintenance treatment (BMT) and methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) are pharmacological treatment programs for individuals with opioid use disorders. MMT is discussed in a companion article. This article describes BMT and reviews available research on its efficacy.

Medication-Assisted Treatment with Methadone
Detoxification followed by abstinence has shown little success in reducing illicit opioid use. Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) helps individuals with an opioid use disorder abstain from or decrease use of illegal or nonmedical opiates. This review examined evidence for MMT’s effectiveness.

Supported Employment
Supported employment is a direct service with multiple components designed to help adults with mental disorders or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders choose, acquire, and maintain competitive employment. This article describes supported employment and assesses the evidence base for this service.

Recovery Housing
Recovery housing is a direct service with multiple components that provides supervised, short-term housing to individuals with substance use disorders or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. It commonly is used after inpatient or residential treatment. This article describes recovery housing and assesses the evidence base for the service.

Permanent Supportive Housing
Permanent supportive housing provides safe, stable housing for people with mental and substance use disorders who are homeless or disabled. This article describes permanent supportive housing and reviews research.

Behavioral Management for Children and Adolescents
Behavioral management services for children and adolescents are important components of the mental health service system. Behavioral management is a direct service designed to help develop or maintain prosocial behaviors in the home, school, or community. This review examined evidence for the effectiveness of family-centered, school-based, and integrated interventions.

Last Updated: 12/20/2013