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Abstract

This study examines the impacts arising from neuroscience and mental health research going back 20-25 years, and identifies attributes of the research, researchers or research setting that are associated with translation into patient benefit, in the particular case of schizophrenia.

The study combined two methods: forward-tracing case studies to examine where scientific advances of 20 years ago have led to impact today; and backward-tracing perspectives to identify the research antecedents of today's interventions in schizophrenia. These research and impact trails are followed principally in Canada, the UK and the USA. The headline findings are as follows:

  1. The case studies and perspectives support the view that mental health research has led to a diverse and beneficial range of academic, health, social and economic impacts over the 20 years since the research was undertaken.
  2. Clinical research has had a larger impact on patient care than basic research has over the 20 years since the research was undertaken.
  3. Those involved in mental health research who work across boundaries are associated with wider health and social benefits.
  4. Committed individuals, motivated by patient need, who effectively champion research agendas and/or translation into practice are key in driving the development and implementation of interventions.

This report provides an overview of the methods and presents the full set of findings, with the policy provocations they raise, and an emerging research agenda. It has been written for funders of biomedical and health research and health services, health researchers, and policymakers in those fields. It will also be of interest to those involved in research and impact evaluation.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Context and Background

  • Chapter Two

    Methods

  • Chapter Three

    Observations and policy provocations from the analysis of 18 case studies

  • Chapter Four

    Observations and implications from analysis of six perspectives

  • Chapter Five

    Findings, caveats, contribution and future research questions

Research conducted by

The project described in this report was supported in Canada by the Graham Boeckh Foundation, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; in the UK by the National Institute for Health Research; and in the USA by the National Institute of Mental Health. The research was conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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