This IP-RISP, entitled """"""""Sustaining Public-Academic Research Collaborations"""""""" (SPARC), will develop infrastructure for an interventions research partnership of investigators at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio with the Center for Health Care Services (CHCS), the community mental health agency for San Antonio. It builds on current active research relationships of the PI and co-PI with the agency. The goal is to create mechanisms and pathways to productive public-academic research collaborations that will be mutually beneficial, and results of which will be highly relevant to persons with mental illness treated in community settings. A major focus is on identifying and overcoming clinical, administrative, and attitudinal impediments to research collaborations. Proposed interventions to achieve a more effective and productive research partnership include changes in employee training, developing a research review process that encourages agency-researcher interactions and involvement of stakeholders, developing specific CHCS positions to facilitate research, use of investigator expertise to assist the agency in improving clinical care and program evaluation, and developing computer-based procedures for information sharing and transfer to improve clinical care of research subjects and researcher access to agency data. The goal of these interventions is to create an environment of mutual trust and beneficence that allows optimization of interventions and practice research. Ethnic/cultural factors that can impact service access, design, and delivery will be a key focus. Measures of the state of the collaboration will be refined and will guide its progress. To disseminate the results of these efforts, a toolkit to assist implementation in other settings will be developed. Two pilot intervention studies will address issues in planning and executing studies of evidence-based practices in community mental health settings. Measures of each intervention's effects on patient outcomes and hospital use will guide development of full-scale follow-up studies. This work will contribute to improved design and delivery of mental health services by facilitating research in the settings where these services are usually provided, with the persons who usually receive them. Treatments designed and tailored for those receiving them should improve mental health outcomes.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-I (01))
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Juliano-Bult, Denise M
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University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
Schools of Medicine
San Antonio
United States
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