What Type of Information Is Needed to Inform Mental Health Policy?
Published in: Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, v. 2, 1999, p. 141-144
Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1998
The most valuable research integrates information from three levels of investigation: clinical efficacy, real life effectiveness (including cost-effectiveness) and policy research. Successful applications of systematic reviews have largely been limited to clinical efficacy questions. The contribution of systematic reviews/meta-analyses to effectiveness and economic questions in mental health has been very minor and their contribution to inform policy is negligible. The latter is unlikely to change due to the different type of information that policy makers need.