Evidence Based Practices by Service Delivery Process

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Book Chapter

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In recent years, there has been considerable progress in identifying behavioral health interventions that demonstrate efficacy, resulting in products such as evidence-based practice (EBP) guidelines and the American Psychological Association’s list of “empirically supported treatments” (Chambless et al., 1998). A number of evidence-based behavioral health practices are targeted specifically for older adults (Gatz et al., 1998). Despite the fact that there are many well-established behavioral health interventions for older adults, one significant challenge is channeling these interventions to the older adults who will benefit from them. Many factors contribute to this impediment, including stigma associated with seeking mental health services, transportation difficulties, and the lack of clinicians with specialized training in working with older adults (Bartels, 2003). In addition, older adults are less likely to identify mental health needs or seek services (Mickus, Colenda, & Hogan, 2000). The goal of this chapter is to describe effective approaches for delivering EBPs to older adults. More specifically, it describes effective methods for screening and assessing patients and provides information on the delivery of evidence-based prevention and intervention programs. This chapter focuses on models of EBP delivery for which there is some empirical evidence that the model is effective with regard to outcomes that are important to consumers, health-care administrators, and public policy officials. Examples of these outcomes include penetration rates, measures of symptom severity, general health outcomes, measures of daily functioning, consumer satisfaction, primary health-care utilization rates (i.e., medical cost offset), and delayed utilization of more costly forms of care (e.g., long-term care).

Publication Title

Evidence-Based Behavioral Health Practices for Older Adults