A Minimum Data Set for the Behavioral Health Workforce

Authors: Phillip Singer, MHSA | Ronald Manderscheid, PhD | Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP | Matthew Boulton, MD, MPH

Topics: Behavioral Health, Data Collection, Methodology, Minimum Data Set (MDS)

Research Center: Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center

December 1, 2016

A behavioral health workforce Minimum Data Set (MDS) was developed through a collaborative process with the Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center (BHWRC) research team and partner Consortium. An MDS instrument with 5 main themes was constructed to include numerous data elements to describe workforce size, composition, and characteristics of the behavioral health workforce, which was broadly defined to include any worker responsible for prevention and/or treatment of mental health or substance use disorders.

This report discusses the behavioral health workforce MDS instrument that was developed, exploring  demographics, licensure and certification, education and training background, occupation and area of practice, and practice characteristics and practice settings. The MDS instrument was refined based on feedback from subject matter experts and focus group participants.

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