Mental Health Services Research
Director: Robert E. Drake, M.D., Ph.D.
The Department of CFM has joined forces with the Department of Psychiatry and the State of New Hampshire to form the New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center (PRC), which conducts much of the Mental Health Services Research at Dartmouth. The PRC's fourteen years of research have centered on efficacy and cost-effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation for people with severe mental disorders (SMD); integrated treatment for people with SMD and co-occurring substance use disorder; services for the elderly with SMD; the relationships among substance abuse, trauma and victimization, and HIV risk behaviors; and on services research methodologies. Originating in rural New Hampshire, the PRC's research program has progressed into sites located in small cities and large urban areas in New England and throughout the country.
The PRC has investigated several aspects of vocational services for persons with severe mental disorders. Initial studies in New Hampshire explored issues related to replacing day treatment centers with vocational programs, and comparison of supported employment programs which are integrated with other mental health services to those provided by separate agencies. Further study and replication has occurred in Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland and South Carolina. As a body these studies address issues including preparation for competitive employment, integration of vocational with other mental health services, non-vocational outcomes such as changes in self-esteem and psychiatric symptoms, job termination, and cost-effectiveness.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment:
PRC researchers began working in the dual disorders area in the 1980s. Pilot studies in Boston and in rural New Hampshire formed the basis for a series of methodological studies, services trials in New Hampshire, replications in culturally diverse settings, and pioneering studies of costs, families, implementation, service models, and the criminal justice system. PRC researchers are currently involved in several longitudinal studies of dual disorders, including ten-year follow-up studies in NH and CT.