Challenges with Behavioral Health Services Research Data

  • Ardis HansonEmail author
  • Bruce Lubotsky Levin


This chapter examines the complexity of data being generated by a multitude of individuals and organizations within the various areas of behavioral health (alcohol, drug abuse, and mental health) services research. It will also examine the role of technology in services research and in accessing research databases. In addition, this chapter will identify some of the major databases in behavioral health services research and illustrate the complexity of collecting, organizing, and accessing information from a vast array of data collection sources.


Complexity Services research Data Standards Behavioral health 


  1. Aarons, G. A., Glisson, C., Green, P. D., Hoagwood, K., Kelleher, K. J., Landsverk, J. A., … Schoenwald, S. (2012). The organizational social context of mental health services and clinician attitudes toward evidence-based practice: a United States national study. Implementation Science, 7, 56. Scholar
  2. Abresch, J., Hanson, A., & Reehling, P. J. (2008). Collection management issues with geospatial information. In J. Abresch, A. Hanson, S. J. Heron, & P. J. Reehling (Eds.), Integrating geographic information systems into library services: A guide for academic libraries (pp. 202–238). Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allen, J. D., Shelton, R. C., Emmons, K. M., & Linnan, L. A. (2018). Fidelity and its relationship to implementation, effectiveness, adaptation, and dissemination. In R. C. Brownson, G. A. Colditz, & E. K. Proctor (Eds.), Dissemination and implementation research in health: Translating science to practice (2nd ed., pp. 267–284). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. American Psychiatric Association. (1952). Diagnostic and statistical manual: Mental disorders: DSM-I. Washington, DC, US: American Psychiatric Association, Mental Hospital Service.Google Scholar
  5. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Arlington, VA: Author.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Andrade, L. H., Alonso, J., Mneimneh, Z., Wells, J. E., Al-Hamzawi, A., Borges, G., … Kessler, R. C. (2014). Barriers to mental health treatment: Results from the WHO World Mental Health surveys. Psychological Medicine, 44(6), 1303–1317. Scholar
  7. Atkinson, J. A., Page, A., Wells, R., Milat, A., & Wilson, A. (2015). A modelling tool for policy analysis to support the design of efficient and effective policy responses for complex public health problems. Implementation Science, 10, 26. Scholar
  8. Bahorik, A. L., Satre, D. D., Kline-Simon, A. H., Weisner, C. M., & Campbell, C. I. (2017). Serious mental illness and medical comorbidities: Findings from an integrated health care system. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 100, 35–45. Scholar
  9. Berry, N., Lobban, F., Emsley, R., & Bucci, S. (2016). Acceptability of interventions delivered online and through mobile phones for people who experience severe mental health problems: A systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(5), e121. Scholar
  10. Boerma, T., Eozenou, P., Evans, D., Evans, T., Kieny, M. P., & Wagstaff, A. (2014). Monitoring progress towards universal health coverage at country and global levels. PLoS Medicine, 11(9), e1001731. Scholar
  11. Charlson, F. J., Baxter, A. J., Dua, T., Degenhardt, L., Whiteford, H. A., & Vos, T. (2016). Excess mortality from mental, neurological, and substance use disorders in the Global Burden of Disease Study. In V. Patel, D. Chisholm, T. Dua, R. Laxminarayan, & M. E. Medina-Mora (Eds.), Mental, neurological, and substance use disorders: Disease control priorities (Vol. 4, 3rd ed., p. 2010). Washington, DC: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development; The World Bank. Scholar
  12. Chaudoir, S. R., Dugan, A. G., & Barr, C. H. (2013). Measuring factors affecting implementation of health innovations: A systematic review of structural, organizational, provider, patient, and innovation level measures. Implementation Science, 8, 22. Scholar
  13. Clark, L. A., Cuthbert, B., Lewis-Fernandez, R., Narrow, W. E., & Reed, G. M. (2017). Three approaches to understanding and classifying mental disorder: ICD-11, DSM-5, and the National Institute of Mental Health’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC). Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 18(2), 72–145. Scholar
  14. Escorpizo, R., Kostanjsek, N., Kennedy, C., Nicol, M. M., Stucki, G., & Ustun, T. B. (2013). Harmonizing WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF): Importance and methods to link disease and functioning. BMC Public Health, 13, 742. Scholar
  15. Gologorsky, Y., Knightly, J. J., Lu, Y., Chi, J. H., & Groff, M. W. (2014). Improving discharge data fidelity for use in large administrative databases. Neurosurgical Focus, 36(6), E2. Scholar
  16. Goodell, S., Druss, B. G., Walker, E. R., & Mat, M. (2011). Mental disorders and medical comorbidity. The synthesis project. (Policy Brief No. 21). Princeton, NJ: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.Google Scholar
  17. Gotham, H. J. (2004). Diffusion of mental health and substance abuse treatments: Development, dissemination, and implementation. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11(2), 160–176. Scholar
  18. Hanson, A. (2014). Illuminating the invisible voices in mental health policymaking. Journal of Medicine and the Person, 12(1), 13–18. Scholar
  19. Hanson, A., & Levin, B. L. (2013). Mental health informatics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Health information technology standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria and certification programs for health information technology, 45 CFR 170 Cong. Rec. (2011).Google Scholar
  21. Hoffman, S. J., Røttingen, J.-A., Bennett, S., Lavis, J. N., Edge, J. S., & Frenk, J. (2012, February 29). Background paper on conceptual issues related to health systems research to inform a WHO Global Strategy on Health Systems Research: A working paper in progress. Geneva, CH: World Health Organization.
  22. Hosseini Shokouh, S. M., Arab, M., Emamgholipour, S., Rashidian, A., Montazeri, A., & Zaboli, R. (2017). Conceptual models of social determinants of health: A narrative review. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 46(4), 435–446.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. Hutter, M. F., Rodriguez-Ibeas, R., & Antonanzas, F. (2014). Methodological reviews of economic evaluations in health care: What do they target? The European Journal of Health Economics, 15(8), 829–840. Scholar
  24. International Statistical Institute. (1893). International list of causes of death. Vienna, Austria: Author.Google Scholar
  25. International Advisory Group for the Revision of ICD-10 Mental and Behavioural Disorders. (2011). A conceptual framework for the revision of the ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioural disorders. World Psychiatry, 10(2), 86–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Keeley, J. W., Reed, G. M., Roberts, M. C., Evans, S. C., Medina-Mora, M. E., Robles, R., … Saxena, S. (2016). Developing a science of clinical utility in diagnostic classification systems field study strategies for ICD-11 mental and behavioral disorders. American Psychologist, 71(1), 3–16. Scholar
  27. Lutterman, T. C., Phelan, B. E., Berhane, A., Shaw, R., & Rana, V. (2008). Characteristics of state mental health agency data systems (DHHS Pub. No.(SMA) 08–4361). Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Center for Mental Health Services.
  28. Monto, S., Penttila, R., Karri, T., Puolakka, K., Valpas, A., & Talonpoika, A. M. (2016). Improving data collection processes for routine evaluation of treatment cost-effectiveness. Health Information Management, 45(1), 45–52. Scholar
  29. Murray, C. J. L., Vos, T., Lozano, R., Naghavi, M., Flaxman, A. D., Michaud, C., … Memish, Z. A. (2012). Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet, 380(9859), 2197–2223. Scholar
  30. National Institutes of Health. (2003, February 26). Final NIH statement on sharing research data. NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, NOT-OD-03-032, [HTML].
  31. Nesvag, R., Jonsson, E. G., Bakken, I. J., Knudsen, G. P., Bjella, T. D., Reichborn-Kjennerud, T., … Andreassen, O. A. (2017). The quality of severe mental disorder diagnoses in a national health registry as compared to research diagnoses based on structured interview. BMC Psychiatry, 17(1), 93. Scholar
  32. Obama, B. (2009). Memorandum of January 21, 2009: Transparency and open government: Memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies. Federal Register, 74(15), 4685–4686. Scholar
  33. President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. (2003). Achieving the promise: Transforming mental health care in America: Final report (DHHS publication no.). Rockville, MD: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  34. Prince, M., Patel, V., Saxena, S., Maj, M., Maselko, J., Phillips, M. R., & Rahman, A. (2007). No health without mental health. Lancet, 370(9590), 859–877. Scholar
  35. Rhodes, S. D., Bowie, D. A., & Hergenrather, K. C. (2003). Collecting behavioural data using the world wide web: Considerations for researchers. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 57(1), 68–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rosen, L. D., & Weil, M. M. (1997). The mental health technology bible. New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
  37. Sujansky, W. V. (1998). The benefits and challenges of an electronic medical record: Much more than a “word-processed” patient chart. Western Journal of Medicine, 169(3), 176–183.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  38. Thomsen, S., Ng, N., Biao, X., Bondjers, G., Kusnanto, H., Liem, N. T., … Diwan, V. (2013). Bringing evidence to policy to achieve health-related MDGs for all: Justification and design of the EPI-4 project in China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Global Health Action, 6, 19650. Scholar
  39. Vest, J. R., Grannis, S. J., Haut, D. P., Halverson, P. K., & Menachemi, N. (2017). Using structured and unstructured data to identify patients’ need for services that address the social determinants of health. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 107, 101–106. Scholar
  40. Vos, T., Flaxman, A. D., Naghavi, M., Lozano, R., Michaud, C., Ezzati, M., … Memish, Z. A. (2012). Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet, 380(9859), 2163–2196. Scholar
  41. Whiteford, H., Ferrari, A., & Degenhardt, L. (2016). Global Burden of Disease studies: Implications for mental and substance use disorders. Health Affairs, 35(6), 1114–1120. Scholar
  42. Whiteford, H. A., Degenhardt, L., Rehm, J., Baxter, A. J., Ferrari, A. J., Erskine, H. E., … Vos, T. (2013). Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet, 382(9904), 1575–1586. Scholar
  43. Williams, N. J., Ehrhart, M. G., Aarons, G. A., Marcus, S. C., & Beidas, R. S. (2018). Linking molar organizational climate and strategic implementation climate to clinicians’ use of evidence-based psychotherapy techniques: Cross-sectional and lagged analyses from a 2-year observational study. Implementation Science, 13(1), 85. Scholar
  44. World Health Organization. (2001a). The world health report 2001: Mental health: New understanding, new hope.
  45. World Health Organization. (2001b). ICF: International classification of functioning, disability and health. Geneva, CH: Author.Google Scholar
  46. World Health Organization. (2010). Monitoring the building blocks of health systems: A handbook of indicators and their measurement strategies. Geneva, CH: Author. Scholar
  47. World Health Organization. (2016). Global monitoring of action on the social determinants of health: A proposed framework and basket of core indicators [consultation paper]. Geneva, CH: Author.
  48. World Health Organization. (2017). International classification of functioning, disability and health. [Interactive Online Web Site]. Geneva, CH: Author.
  49. World Health Organization. (2018a). ICD-11 reference guide. [Interactive Online Book]. Geneva, CH: Author.|part-1-what-is-icd-11|c1Google Scholar
  50. World Health Organization. (2018b). International classification of diseases and related health problems. 11th. [Interactive Online Web Site]. Geneva, CH: Author.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research and Education Unit, Shimberg Health Sciences LibraryUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Child and Family Studies, College of Behavioral and Community SciencesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  3. 3.Behavioral Health Concentration, College of Public HealthUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

Personalised recommendations