Study: Comparative effectiveness research might improve mental health treatment

When it comes to mental healthcare, it seems that there are huge variations in the treatments Americans receive, according to a growing number of new studies summarized in the latest issue of Health Affairs.

According to Philip Wang, acting deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, one-quarter of Americans suffering from mental health problems receive treatments that aren't consistent with evidence-based guidelines. Patients may be getting inappropriate treatments simply because doctors don't have the evidence they need to make informed decisions, suggests Wang, who was chief author of one of the studies.

Given this gap, it makes sense that a significant piece of the $1.1 billion in stimulus money allocated for comparative effectiveness research ought to be earmarked for mental health research, the summary article suggests.

To learn more about these studies:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece

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