There is a tremendous burden of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease among persons with schizophrenia. Patients with schizophrenia have a cardiovascular mortality rate that is two to three times higher than that of the general population. There have been no studies to date of interventions which improve diabetes outcomes in this vulnerable population. This application is a request for a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) to prepare Dr. Lydia Chwastiak to become an independent investigator in the area of management of chronic medical illness in patients with serious mental illness. She will achieve this goal through directed coursework, mentoring from accomplished researchers, involvement with two focused research projects and submission of scholarly manuscripts. Specifically, she will receive training in the design and implementation of behavioral interventions to improve chronic medical illness management and outcomes among patients with schizophrenia. The proposed research involves two projects. In this first two years of the award, Dr. Chwastiak will conduct secondary analyses of large datasets in order to inform the development of an intervention to improve diabetes self- care among patients with schizophrenia and type 2 diabetes. These analyses will utilize data from the 1999 Large Health Survey of Veteran Enrollees, the largest and most detailed survey of veterans using VA health services. The primary aim of the study is to demonstrate how poor self-care mediates poor cardiovascular outcomes in patients with schizophrenia and diabetes. The second study is a stage 1 psychotherapy development project, which will develop a community mental health center-based Brief Motivational Interviewing (BMI) intervention that aims to improve diabetes self-care among patients with schizophrenia and type 2 diabetes. This second project will be conducted in two phases over years 2-5 of the award. In phase 1, the BMI Intervention will be developed and manualized. In phase 2, we will evaluate the efficacy of the intervention through a randomized controlled pilot study in which 60 subjects with schizophrenia and type 2 diabetes are assigned to either BMI or brief education sessions. The primary measures of efficacy of BMI, relative to brief education sessions, will be the overall level of self-care and the level of self-care across five domains (diet, exercise, medication adherence, monitoring of blood glucose, and tobacco use). These behaviors will be assessed using a validated measure of diabetes self-care behaviors from the Diabetes Quality Improvement Project. Secondary process and outcome measures will include glycemic control, blood pressure control, lipid control, utilization of diabetes-related services, and knowledge of diabetes. The career development plan is a carefully staged approach to provide Dr. Chwastiak with the skills and data necessary to develop an R01 and become an independent investigator by the end of the award.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Application #
Study Section
Mental Health Services in MH Specialty Settings (SRSP)
Program Officer
Hill, Lauren D
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Yale University
Schools of Medicine
New Haven
United States
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Ihle, Eva C; van der Hart, Marieke; Jongsma, Minke et al. (2015) Dopamine physiology in the basal ganglia of male zebra finches during social stimulation. Eur J Neurosci 41:1506-14
Chwastiak, Lydia A; Davydow, Dimitry S; McKibbin, Christine L et al. (2014) The effect of serious mental illness on the risk of rehospitalization among patients with diabetes. Psychosomatics 55:134-43
Chwastiak, Lydia; Cruza-Guet, Maria-Cristina; Carroll-Scott, Amy et al. (2013) Preventive counseling for chronic disease: missed opportunities in a community mental health center. Psychosomatics 54:328-35
Chwastiak, Lydia; Tsai, Jack; Rosenheck, Robert (2012) Impact of health insurance status and a diagnosis of serious mental illness on whether chronically homeless individuals engage in primary care. Am J Public Health 102:e83-9
Chwastiak, Lydia A; Rosenheck, Robert A; Kazis, Lewis E (2011) Association of psychiatric illness and obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking among a national sample of veterans. Psychosomatics 52:230-6
Chwastiak, Lydia A; Rosenheck, Robert A; Desai, Rani et al. (2010) Association of psychiatric illness and all-cause mortality in the National Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Psychosom Med 72:817-22
Chwastiak, Lydia A; Rosenheck, Robert A; McEvoy, Joseph P et al. (2009) The impact of obesity on health care costs among persons with schizophrenia. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 31:1-7
Chwastiak, Lydia A; Rosenheck, Robert A; Kazis, Lewis E (2008) Utilization of primary care by veterans with psychiatric illness in the National Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System. J Gen Intern Med 23:1835-40
Chwastiak, Lydia A; Ehde, Dawn M (2007) Psychiatric issues in multiple sclerosis. Psychiatr Clin North Am 30:803-17