DHSR’s Research Cycle

DHSR investigators strive to apply the knowledge gained during observational studies to the development of new interventions and to translate research findings into routine clinical practice.  The strength of the DHSR research environment is the interaction between investigators conducting observational studies, investigators conducting intervention studies, and investigators conducting implementation studies.cycle

Understand: DHSR investigators apply a variety of methods (qualitative interviews, surveys, chart reviews, and analyses of administrative data) to better understand the risk/protective factors for developing mental health and substance use disorders, the barriers/facilitators to help seeking behavior and service utilization, and process/quality of care factors that impact patient outcomes.  We use observational research methods to determine when, where, and how to intervene effectively to improve outcomes and how to best facilitate the sustained adoption of evidence-based practices by provider organizations.  DHSR observational researchers work closely with our intervention developers and implementation experts to conduct studies that inform the design of both interventions and implementation strategies.

Intervene: DHSR researchers focus on designing evidence-based treatments that reach out to under-served populations in community settings (e.g., homes, schools, churches, nursing homes, etc.) and to patients in clinical service settings (e.g., VA primary care clinics, federally qualified health centers, and community mental health centers).  We have a history of conducting multi-site randomized effectiveness trials that evaluate the impact of interventions on clinical outcomes and quality of life, as well as experience conducting cost-effectiveness analyses to assess value.  Our intervention developers collaborate directly with our implementation experts to identify potential facilitators and barriers to future dissemination efforts.

researchImplement: DHSR implementation experts rely on our intervention developers to help ensure fidelity to the evidence base during our dissemination and translation efforts.  In order to make sure that DHSR research addresses organizational and community needs, our implementation projects are conceived and conducted within the context of formal and informal community-based partnerships of individuals with mental health and substance use disorders, community members, informal care givers, organizational leaders, and clinical providers.