Traveling Without a Map: An Incomplete History of the Road to Implementation Science and Where We May Go from Here

  • David S. MandellEmail author


This editorial provides a brief history of mental health services research over the last 30 years and how findings from large-scale studies shocked the field and led to the lines of inquiry culminating in current implementation science research. I review the manuscripts published in this special issue of Administration and Policy in Mental Health in light of that history and usethese studies as a way to assess the state of the field. Finally, I present five takeaways extracted from these articles that may be useful in considering future directions for implementation research.


Implementation science Mental health services Training 



This work was supported by years of soul searching and wandering in the desert, getting to be a fly on the wall in rooms with many people wiser and more experienced than I, and the Penn ALACRITY center (P50 MH113840).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author has no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Informed Consent

This commentary did not comprise research involving human or animal participants, therefore no informed consent was required.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Penn Center for Mental HealthUniversity of Pennsylvania Perelman School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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