would include substance abuse and dependence. Other agencies use legal terminology such as “delinquency” rather than mental disorder diagnoses such as conduct disorder, although the terms often apply to the same people. Once it is generally acknowledged that precursors to mental disorders include behavioral dysfunction and clusters of serious psychological symptoms that do not yet meet full criteria for diagnosis, it is expected that more agencies will acknowledge their role in preventing these mental health problems. Moreover, agencies actively involved in prevention of physical illnesses, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), often do not appreciate that an important outcome of their work is reduction of psychiatric morbidity. Thus the psychiatric consequences of preventive interventions for physical disorders need to be emphasized. With more consensus on these definitional issues, estimates of actual funding levels will be more easily obtained.

Third, data retrieval systems for information on research funding are difficult to access, inadequate, and sometimes misleading.*

Data from an NIH Retrieval System

The committee reviewed data from the Research Documentation Section, Information Systems Branch of the Division of Research Grants at NIH. The division supplied Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects (CRISP) files of funded prevention research across NIH and the former Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA; which contained the three research institutes, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)). In the CRISP files, prevention research is classified by type: mental disorder prevention, alcoholism prevention, and drug abuse prevention. It is also classified by emphasis level, that is, the relevance of the indexing terms to the aims and objectives of the project. The emphasis codes are P = primary, S = secondary, T = tertiary, and M = main. (These codes should not be confused with terms used to describe types of intervention within the public health classification

*The Prevention Research Branches (PRBs) of NIMH, NIDA, and NIAAA initially found it difficult to comply with the committee's requests for lists of funded research grants back to 1988. The emphasis in the branches is on the current funding year, and hard-copy archives are not kept officially for more than a couple of years. (If they are, it is often by an efficient long-time support staff person.) Computers in the agency budget offices have eased these storage problems, and computerized lists are available.

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