NIHR Community Mental Health Teams for Older People

Community mental health teams for older people are a key element of policy strategies for developing old age mental health services.  However, there is only limited evidence as to whether different ways of working in teams are associated with better outcomes for patients and service users.  This study is designed to identify and clarify the range of different models of community mental health teams and to provide an evaluation of their relative costs and benefits.

Project Outline

Community Mental Health Teams Project Outline

Research Summaries

Research and Policy Update 9, Feb 2010

Research and Policy Update 12, November 2012

Final Report

Challis, D., Tucker, S., Wilberforce, M., Brand, C., Abendstern, M., Stewart, K., Jasper, R., Harrington, V., Verbeek, H., Jolley, D., Fernandez, J-L, Dunn, G, Knapp, M. and Bowns, I. National trends and local delivery in old age mental health services: Towards an evidence base. A mixed-methodology study of the balance of care approach, community mental health teams and specialist mental health outreach to care homes. Programme Grant for Applied Research, 2(4).


Wilberforce, M., Harrington, V., Brand, C., Tucker, S., Abendstern, M., and Challis D. (2011). Towards integrated community mental health teams for older people in England: progress and new insights. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(3), 221-228.

Abendstern, M., Harrington, V., Brand, C., Tucker, S., Wilberforce, M., and Challis, D. (2012). Variations in structures, processes and outcomes of community mental health teams for older people: a systematic review of the literature. Aging and Mental Health, 16(7), 861-873. 

Abendstern, M., Brand, C., Harrington, V., Jasper, R., Tucker, S., Wilberforce, M., Challis, D. (2014) CMHTs for older people: team managers' views surveyed. Journal of Integrated Care. 22(5/6), 229-240.

Abendstern, M., Tucker, S., Wilberforce, M., Jasper, R., Brand, C., Challis, D. (2014). Social Workers as members of community mental health teams for older people: What is the added value? British Journal of Social Work, 46(1), 63-80.

Wilberforce, M., Tucker, S., Brand, C., Abendstern, M., Jasper, R., Challis, C. (2016). Is integrated care associated with service costs and admission rates to institutional settings? An observational study of community mental health teams for older people in England. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (advanced access: doi: 10.1002/gps.4424)

PSSRU Project Team

David Challis, Professor of Community Care Research; Mark Wilberforce, Research Fellow; Sue Tucker, Research Fellow; Karen Stewart, Research Fellow; Dr Dave Jolley, Honorary Reader; Michele Abendstern, Research Associate; Christian Brand, Research Associate; and Rowan Jasper, Research Assistant.