Toward an Experimental Therapeutics Approach in Human Services Research


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Over the past decade, the experimental therapeutics approach has gained currency as an organizing framework for research in mental health. However, examples of this approach outside of person-directed therapeutic and preventive interventions have been relatively uncommon. This article describes an experimental therapeutics approach to mental health and human services research that considers the role of social and ecological determinants in a person’s recovery from mental disorder. To illustrate this approach, this article decomposes an employment intervention to show three of its components and identifies the targets for two components: social relationships and health insurance. These targets can be engaged by provider-, community-, or policy-level interventions. Such applications of an experimental therapeutics approach to research on mental health services can enhance the rigor of studies and thereby contribute to the well-being of persons living with mental disorders in the United States.

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