Scoping review of the effectiveness of mental health services


The National Service Framework (NSF) for Mental Health covers the mental health needs of adults and specifically addresses unacceptable variations in services across England. This scoping review looked at the evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the mental health care services, based on the seven standards of the NSF for Mental Health.


Few of the thirty-six good quality systematic reviews located were able to conclude that an intervention was effective or not. This was due primarily to the poor quality, or limited amount of primary research. The only two interventions that could be considered to be effective from the included primary research were assertive outreach and community mental health teams. The care programme approach was not considered to be an effective intervention. For all of the other areas of mental health service delivery evaluated by the systematic reviews, interventions had been evaluated poorly (or not at all) in the primary research.

Twenty-seven economic evaluation studies met the inclusion criteria and these studies were grouped using the objectives of the National Service Framework (NSF) standards.

Conducted by: Ruth Jepson1, Zelda Di Blasi1, Kath Wright1, Gerben Ter Riet1,2

1. Centre for Reviews and Dissemination; 2. Department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University


NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Scoping review of the effectiveness of mental health services. CRD Report 21. York: University of York. 2001


Wilson P. Standards and targets and the links with clinical evidence. Modernising Mental Health Services in Scotland Conference; 2001 February; Edinburgh, Scotland


Commissioned by the Department of Health