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The Users Guide begins by providing general information about the Implementing Evidence- Based Practices Project, including the goals and values of the project. This is followed by descriptions of the materials contained in the resource kit and their proposed role in the implementation process. The basic structure of an implementation plan is outlined. Specific suggestions for implementing the practice of Family Psychoeducation are presented in the Implementation Tips documents. This guide also contains a list of annotated references on Family Psychoeducation and a special populations appendix which provides a review of the literature addressing the range of populations for which this practice has demonstrated efficacy or effectiveness.

If you have any questions or comments about these materials or the implementation process, please contact Kristine Knoll at the NH-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research (e-mail address: Kristine.M.Knoll@Dartmouth.EDU). We look forward to supporting your efforts to improve services to people with severe mental illness. Also, please share your experience in using these materials. Feedback from users will help refine and improve future versions of these implementation materials.


What are "evidence-based practices"?

Evidence-based practices are services for people with severe mental illness (consumers) that have demonstrated positive outcomes in multiple research studies.

Over the past 15 years, researchers in mental health service systems have gathered extensive data to support the effectiveness of several psychosocial and pharmacological treatments. In 1998, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation convened a consensus panel of researchers, clinicians, administrators, consumers, and family advocates to discuss the research and to determine which practices currently demonstrated a strong evidence base. This project is an offshoot of these efforts.

The six evidence-based practices:

Six practices were identified as currently demonstrating a strong evidence base:

  • standardized pharmacological treatment

  • illness management and recovery skills

  • supported employment

  • family psychoeducation

  • assertive community treatment

  • integrated dual disorders treatment (substance use and mental illness)

Other evidence-based practices for the treatment of persons with severe mental illnesses are being identified and will be promoted as the research evolves. This project is only a beginning attempt to establish models and procedures. This list of identified practices is not intended to be complete or exclusive. There should be many evidence-based practices in the future. Some promising practices being researched currently include peer support programming, supported housing, trauma services, and treatment for people with borderline personality disorder.

Family Psychoeducation Toolkit


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