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

Definition of Standards Used in the Report

  • Standards are the "generally accepted principles for the best/most appropriate way to provide clinical care for patients with mental illness(Traw, 1994).
  • Standards are the level of clinical practice that is considered as legally and professionally expected to be found in treating an illness. Deviation from this standard is considered as malpractice(Traw, 1994)


Working Definition as Used in this Report:

  • Standards are the criteria or set of rules that describe the expected levels of clinical and system behavior as well as courses of action based on research and experience (Davis, 1997)


Example of a Clinical standard: Assessment of consumers of African descent must include an evaluation of their individual, strengths and assets within the context of family and community resources. Consumers should receive a comprehensive functional based on a multi-dimensional focus, including general health functioning, psychiatric status, social and family supports, in addition to an evaluation of cultural, as well as socioeconomic stressors and factors affecting their condition.