Center for Health Policy and Research (CHPR) Publications


Psychosocial treatment in the 21st century

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Center for Health Policy and Research; Clinical and Population Health Research

Publication Date


Document Type



Cost-Benefit Analysis; Evidence-Based Medicine; Health Policy; History, 21st Century; Humans; Mental Disorders; Mental Health Services; Psychotherapy; United States


Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Public Health


Over the past 50 years, psychosocial treatment has played an increasingly prominent role in helping persons with mental illness live in communities rather than in institutions. This paper briefly reviews evidence for and discusses three forms of treatment-assertive community treatment, supported employment, and cognitive behavior treatment-which have been studied extensively and are widely accepted as effective interventions. Forces are discussed that have shaped these and other psychosocial treatment over the past five decades. Despite the accumulated evidence, many questions remain about the cost-effectiveness and applicability of these treatments in specific populations and service environments. The development of these and other treatments has been, and continues to be, shaped by concerns about rising health care costs, a heightened emphasis on evidence-based treatment and by consumers taking a more active role in determining the services, and outcomes that are most helpful to them.

DOI of Published Version



Int J Law Psychiatry. 2005 Sep-Oct;28(5):532-44. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International journal of law and psychiatry

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed