National Academy of Medicine Establishes Standards for Psychosocial Treatments

A new rep psychosocialrept ort by the National Academy of Medicine, titled, “Psychosocial Interventions for Mental and Substance Use Disorders: A Framework for Establishing Evidence-Based Standards” highlights the need to strengthen evidence on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions, and to develop guidelines and quality measures for implementing these interventions in professional practice.

Two important pieces of legislation aim to improve the delivery of and access to treatments for mental health and substance use disorders, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These two important pieces of legislation set the stage for establishing standards for psychosocial treatment.

Approximately 20% of the U.S. population, are affected by mental health and substance use disorders and frequently occur together. The comorbidity of these disorders with physical disorders is also common. Psychosocial interventions for mental and substance use disorders include psychotherapies, community-based treatments, vocational rehabilitation, peer support services, and integrated care interventions. The treatment modalities include: individual, group and virtual settings, and may be administered as stand-alone treatments or combined with other interventions such as medications.

NAM-framework The NAM report proposes an iterative process that engages consumers at every step. The framework highlights the need to: (1) support research to strengthen the evidence base on the efficacy and effectiveness of psychosocial interventions; (2) identify the key elements that lead to improved health outcomes; (3) conduct systematic reviews to inform clinical guidelines that incorporate these key elements; (4) develop quality measures of the structures, process, and outcomes of interventions; and (5) establish methods for successfully implementing, sustaining, and improving psychosocial interventions in regular practice

Source:  Institute of Medicine