Consumer-Driven Standards and Guidelines in Managed Mental Health for Populations of African Descent

Definition of Practice Guidelines  Used in the Report

  • The term practice guideline refers to a set of patient care strategies developed to assist in clinical decision making (Zarin, 1993).
  • The best treatments and the range of appropriate treatments available to patients with mental illness (Zarin, 1993).
  • A listing of key decision points and general suggestions in the day to day treatment of patients with various psychiatric disorders (McEvoy, 1996)
  • Systematically developed statements on (medical) practice that assist a practitioner and a patient in making decisions about appropriate health care for specific medical conditions (United Healthcare, 1994)
  • Description of a course of treatment or established practice pattern designed to guide clinical treatment decisions (Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, 1995)
  • Terms used synonymously include practice parameters, standard treatment protocols & clinical practice guidelines (United Healthcare, 1994)


Working Definition as used in this report

  • A set of strategies, techniques, and treatment approaches that support or lead to a specific standard(s) of care that guides mental health systems, clinical care, and professions in their relationships to consumers (Davis, 1997)

Clinical Guidelines Needed to Provide Managed Mental Health Services to consumers of African descent:

  • Prevention, Education, & Outreach
  • Comprehensive Assessment & Triage
  • Development of Treatment Plans
  • Implementation of Treatment Plans
  • Self - Help Opportunities
  • Access to Services
  • Styles of Communication
  • Ongoing Program Development
  • Outcome Evaluation
  • Discharge Planning

Guidelines for each of these areas were developed by the Panel.