The Rutgers-Columbia Center for Education and Research on Mental Health Therapeutics will focus on safe and effective use of therapeutics for persons with behavioral health disorders. Center projects and activities will address critical gaps in the evidence base on the comparative effectiveness of mental health treatments and services system innovations. We will build on the solid foundation of infrastructure, partnerships, dataset development, and lines of research from our first five years of work as a CERTs Research Center to address all five programmatic interest areas. The proposed work will be guided by systematic stakeholder input through an advisory committee representing organizations that are well positioned to translate Center findings into improved care processes and outcomes. Research and educational activities will be supported by a Data, Methods and Biostatistics Core and an Education, Translation and Stakeholder Core and organized within population-based cores for 1) youth, 2) adults, and 3) the frail elderly. Specific projects include: 1) a comparativ effectiveness analysis of alternative pharmacological strategies to manage treatment-resistant schizophrenia, 2) an analysis of the impact of an innovative statewide community mental health center-based medical home model for the safe and effective use of mental health therapeutics, 3) a comparative safety analysis of anti-dementia medications in the nursing home elderly, 4) an examination of the potential impact of structured diagnostic interviewing on the management and outcome of youth with severe psychiatric disorders, and 5) an assessment of premature mortality in schizophrenia patients and their underlying quality of general medical care. Through these projects and related educational activities, the Center aims to serve as a trusted national resource to inform decision's making of mental health stakeholders, with an emphasis on broad populations -under treatment, especially in Medicaid and Medicare. Our experience working with states and federal policy makers also qualifies us to provide leadership of new cross-CERTs initiatives involving Medicaid agencies and complex, high-cost patients

Public Health Relevance

Mental health conditions account for a substantial share of overall illness burden and health care expenditure, and substantially complicate the course and treatment of other medical disorders. The Center's work will address these critical issues, serving as a national observatory on the use and outcomes of mental health treatments in large, usual-care settings, incorporating strong partnerships with key stakeholders.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHS1-HSR-X (03))
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Nourjah, Parivash
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Rutgers University
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New Brunswick
United States
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