Mental Health Innovation, Services and Outcomes

Many of the research efforts in the Mental Health Services, Translation and Outcomes (MHISO) program and SMITREC overlap, complement, and inform each other.  Current work includes:


  • Suicide mortality among patients with depression in VHA/prevention strategies
  • Clinical, pharmacological, and social predictors of suicide
  • Substance use disorder treatment and attempted
  • Suicidality screening and outreach in primary care

Access/barriers to care for the seriously mentally ill

  • Treatment retention among patients with SMI in VHA
  • Impact of geographical distance on access to care for patients with SMI
  • Innovative treatment models to integrate medical and psychiatric care for persons with serious mental illness
  • Health economics, organization, and financing of SMI treatment models

Primary and mental health care integration

  • Evaluate the implementation of the Washtenaw Community Health Organization central entry point for all Medicaid-eligible and indigent residents in need of medical and mental health services
  • Evaluate the VHA-wide initiative to provide mental health services in primary care settings
  • Organizational factors associated with integrated care and quality improvement in mental disorders
  • Behavioral interventions for SMI (e.g., cardiovascular disease risk, tobacco cessation)

Patient registries

  • The National Psychosis Registry (NPR) and the National Registry for Depression (NARDEP) include data from multiple VHA sources for all VHA patients with these diagnoses.  The registries form the basis for research efforts and are the source of data to help inform VHA policy decisions
  • Large prospective clinical databases to better understand predictors of outcome (e.g., antipsychotic use in dementia, bipolar disorder and medical comorbidity)

Mood Disorders (Depression, Bipolar Disorder)

  • Depression screening and care in the primary care setting
  • Depression and bipolar disorder among the elderly
  • Predictors of quality and outcomes of care for depression and bipolar disorder in a national sample
  • Quality measurement and guidelines for depression and bipolar disorder
  • Depression and cost-related medication nonadherence

Substance abuse disorders and dual diagnoses

  • Outcome predictors for substance abuse treatment
  • Brief interventions for substance use disorders
  • Psychiatric symptom exacerbation during substance abuse treatment
  • Coping strategies and self-efficacy in maintenance of sobriety
  • Classifying service needs among Persons in outpatient substance abuse treatment