Neuroscience Advances Could Have Impact on Behavioral Health by 2018 - Yet Nonprofit Providers Slow to Apply Them to Practice

Assessing the impact of neuroscience advancements on the delivery of nonprofit behavioral health services

From December 2004 to December 2006, researchers from the Alliance for Children and Families explored recent advancements in neuroscience and how they affected the behavioral health care practices of Alliance member organizations.

After conducting the initial research, the investigators convened a national summit meeting to determine the elements nonprofit organizations should consider when integrating neuroscience advancements into behavioral health care practices. Alliance's public policy committee then wrote a position statement on the use of neuroscience advancements and made five recommendations to promote advancements and ensure universal access to them.

Key Findings

  • Seven neuroscience advancements will most likely have an impact on nonprofit behavioral health care providers by 2018. These advancements include neuroimaging, genotyping, electrical stimulation, new medications and genetic testing for medication effectiveness and side effects.
  • Some 91 percent of Alliance members surveyed did not integrate neuroscience diagnostic and treatment advancements into their practices. Of these, fewer than eight percent are considering integrating any of the seven advances into their practices at the present time.