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.

This report presents the full set of backward-tracing perspectives.

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.

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.

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