Three hundred and twenty one research reports were analyzed. The largest number of reports was published in 1996-1998. Most of them focused on the effects of intervention and only a few focused on process studies. Most of the research investigated the effects of intervention on patients, very rarely on the staff, health care system or the general public. Compared with later years, within the first three years covered by this review intervention was usually applied by community treatment taskforces, community support programs, day-care and crisis interventions. Within the next five years intervention was usually targeted at the managed health care system. The majority of the reviewed studies were methodologically correct.