Implementation Research in Mental Health Services: an Emerging Science with Conceptual, Methodological, and Training challenges

  • Enola K. ProctorEmail author
  • John Landsverk
  • Gregory Aarons
  • David Chambers
  • Charles Glisson
  • Brian Mittman
Original Paper


One of the most critical issues in mental health services research is the gap between what is known about effective treatment and what is provided to consumers in routine care. Concerted efforts are required to advance implementation science and produce skilled implementation researchers. This paper seeks to advance implementation science in mental health services by over viewing the emergence of implementation as an issue for research, by addressing key issues of language and conceptualization, by presenting a heuristic skeleton model for the study of implementation processes, and by identifying the implications for research and training in this emerging field.


Implementation Evidence-based practice Mental health services Translation two research 



The preparation of this article was supported in part by the Center for Mental Health Services Research, at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St Louis; through an award from the National Institute of Mental Health (5P30 MH068579).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enola K. Proctor
    • 1
    Email author
  • John Landsverk
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gregory Aarons
    • 3
  • David Chambers
    • 4
  • Charles Glisson
    • 5
  • Brian Mittman
    • 6
  1. 1.George Warren Brown School of Social WorkWashington UniversitySt LouisUSA
  2. 2.Child and Adolescent Services Research CenterSan Diego Children’s Hospital WorkSan DeigoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Dissemination and Implementation Research Program Division of Services and Intervention ResearchNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesdaUSA
  5. 5.Children’s Mental Health Services Research CenterUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  6. 6.Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Center for Implementation Research & Improvement ScienceGreater Los Angeles Healthcare SystemLos AngelesUSA

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