Richard R. Owen, M.D.


Director/Principal Investigator, Center for Mental Healthcare and Outcomes Research, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System
Associate Chief of Staff for Research, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Professor, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences


Phone: 501-257-1710 or 501-257-4802
UAMS email:
VA email:
Administrative assistant – Cynthia Brace: 501-257-1706;

Research Expertise

Dr. Owen is a psychiatrist with expertise in psychopharmacology and implementation of evidence-based practices in mental health. He completed a clinical research fellowship in the Clinical Neuroscience Branch and the Experimental Therapeutics Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He was the first psychiatrist to receive a career development award from the VA Health Services Research & Development Service (HSR&D). Throughout his career, Dr. Owen’s research has focused on assessing and improving quality of care for schizophrenia, depression, and other mental health disorders. He has developed and tested interventions to implement medication management recommendations of clinical practice guidelines for schizophrenia. This work has recently focused on improving monitoring and management for metabolic side effects of antipsychotics, studying strategies to change provider and organizational behavior. Under Dr. Owen’s leadership from 1999-2009, the Mental Health Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) was recognized for its outstanding contributions to VA mental health care and the rapidly growing field of implementation science.

Research interests: schizophrenia, depression, psychopharmacology, implementation science, quality of care, medication adherence

Recent publications

Hudson TJ, Owen RR, Thrush CR, Han X, Pyne JM, Thapa P, Sullivan G. A pilot study of barriers to medication adherence in schizophrenia. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2004 Feb; 65(2): 211–216.

Charbonneau A, Rosen AK, Owen RR, Spiro A 3rd, Ash AS, Miller DR, Kazis L, Kader B, Cunningham F, Berlowitz DR. Monitoring depression care: in search of an accurate quality indicator. Medical Care. 2004 Jun; 42(6): 522–531.

Owen RR, Thrush CR, Cannon D, Sloan KL, Curran G, Hudson T, Austen M, Ritchie M. Use of electronic medical record data for quality improvement in schizophrenia treatment. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 2004 Sep–Oct; 11(5): 351–357.

Charbonneau A, Parker V, Meterko M, Rosen AK, Kader B, Owen RR, Ash AS, Whittle J, Berlowitz DR. The relationship of system-level quality improvement with quality of depression care. American Journal of Managed Care. 2004 Nov; 10(11): 846–851.

Curran GM, Thrush CR, Smith JL, Owen RR, Ritchie M, Chadwick D. Implementing research findings into practice using clinical opinion leaders: barriers and lessons learned. Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety. 2005 Dec; 31(12): 700–707.

McCarthy JF, Blow FC, Valenstein M, Fischer EP, Owen RR, Barry KL, Hudson TJ, Ignacio RV. Veterans Affairs health system and mental health treatment retention among patients with serious mental illness: evaluating accessibility and availability barriers. Health Services Research. 2007 Jun; 42(3 pt 1): 1042–1060.

Smelson DA, Dixon L, Craig T, Remolina S, Batki SL, Niv N, Owen R. Pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia and co-occurring substance use disorders. CNS Drugs. 2008; 22(11): 903–916.

Hudson TJ, Owen RR, Thrush CR, Armitage TL, Thapa P. Guideline implementation and patient-tailoring strategies to improve medication adherence for schizophrenia. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2008 Jan; 69(1): 74–80.

Curran GM, Mukherjee S; Allee E, Owen RR. A process for developing an implementation intervention: QUERI series. Implementation Science. 2008 Mar 19; 3: 17.

Kirchner JE, Owen RR, Dockter N, Kramer TL, Henderson K, Armitage T, Allee E. Equity in Veterans’ mental health care: Veterans Affairs medical center clinics versus community-based outpatient clinics. American Journal of Medical Quality. 2008 Mar/Apr; 23(2): 128–135.

Fischer EP, McCarthy JF, Ignacio RV, Blow FC, Barry KL, Hudson TJ, Owen RR, Valenstein M. Longitudinal patterns of health system retention among Veterans with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Community Mental Health Journal. 2008 Oct; 44(5): 321–330.

Owen RR, Hudson T, Thrush C, Thapa P, Armitage T, Landes RD. The effectiveness of guideline implementation strategies on improving antipsychotic medication management for schizophrenia. Medical Care. 2008 Jul; 46(7): 686–691.

Fischer EP, McSweeney JC, Pyne JM, Williams DK, Naylor AJ, Blow FC, Owen RR. Influence of family involvement and substance use on sustained utilization of services for schizophrenia. Psychiatric Services. 2008 August; 59(8): 902–908.

Smith JL, Williams JW Jr, Owen RR, Rubenstein LV, Chaney E. Developing a national dissemination plan for collaborative care for depression: QUERI series. Implementation Science. 2008 Dec 31; 3: 59.

Mittal D, Owen R, Lacro JP, Landes RD, Edlund M, Valenstein M, Jeste DV. Antipsychotic adherence intervention for Veterans over 40 with schizophrenia: Results of a pilot study.” Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses. 2009 Jan; 24(Suppl 1): S1171.

Parker LE, Ritchie MJ, Kirchner JE, Owen RR. Balancing health care evidence and art to meet clinical needs: policymakers’ perspectives. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. 2009 Dec 23; 15(6): 970–975.

Scherrer JF, Chrusciel T, Zeringue A, Garfield LD, Hauptman PJ, Lustman PJ, Freedland KE, Carney RM, Bucholz KK, Owen R, True WR. Anxiety disorders increase risk for incident myocardial infarction in depressed and non-depressed Veterans Administration patients. American Heart Journal. 2010 May; 159(5): 772–779.

Stecker T, Fortney J, Owen R, McGovern MP, Williams S. Co-occurring medical, psychiatric, and alcohol-related disorders among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Psychosomatics. 2010 Nov 01; 51(6): 503–507.

Young AS, Niv N, Chinman M, Dixon L, Eisen SV, Fischer EP, Smith J, Valenstein M, Marder SR, Owen RR. Routine outcomes monitoring to support improving care for schizophrenia: report from the VA Mental Health QUERI. Community Mental Health Journal. 2011 Apr; 47(2): 123–135.

Scherrer JF, Garfield LD, Lustman PJ, Hauptman PJ, Chrusciel T, Zeringue A, Carney RM, Freedland KE, Bucholz KK, Owen R, Newcomer JW, True WR. Antidepressant drug compliance: reduced risk of MI and mortality in depressed patients. The American Journal of Medicine. 2011 Apr; 124(4): 318–324.

Scherrer JF, Garfield LD, Lustman PJ, Hauptman PJ, Chrusciel T, Zeringue A, Carney RM, Freedland KE, Bucholz KK, Owen R, Newcomer JW, True WR. The reply. Letter to the Editor. The American Journal of Medicine. 2011 Jul; 124(7): e17.

Scherrer JF, Garfield LD, Chrusciel T, Hauptman PJ, Carney RM, Freedland KE, Owen R, True WR, Lustman PJ. Increased risk of myocardial infarction in depressed patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2011 Aug; 34(8): 1729–1734.

Jackson JC, Sinnott PL, Marx BP, Murdoch M, Sayer NA, Alvarez JM, Greevy RA, Schnurr PP, Friedman MJ, Shane AC, Owen RR, Keane TM, Speroff T. Variation in practices and attitudes of clinicians assessing PTSD-related disability among Veterans. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 2011 Oct; 24(5): 609–613.

Li C, Mittal D, Owen RR. Impact of patients’ pre-existing metabolic risk factors on the choice of antipsychotics by office-based physicians. Psychiatric Services. 2011 Dec; 62(12): 1477–1484.

Scherrer JF, Chrusciel T, Garfield LD, Freedland KE, Carney RM, Hauptman PJ, Bucholz KK, Owen R, Lustman PJ. Treatment-resistant and insufficiently treated depression and all-cause mortality following myocardial infarction. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 2012 Feb; 200(2): 137–142.

Mittal D, Li C, OwenR. Do outpatients with dementia or delirium receive recommended monitoring for metabolic side effects when prescribed antipsychotics? Alzheimer’s & Dementia. 2012 Jul 7; 8(4): P712.

Marx PB, Jackson JC, Schnurr PP, Murdoch M, Sayer NA, Keane TM, Friedman MJ, Greevy RA, Owen RR, Sinnott PL, Speroff T. The reality of malingered PTSD among Veterans: reply to McNally and Frueh (2012). Journal of Traumatic Stress. 2012 Aug; 25(4): 457–460.

Hunt JB, Curran G, Kramer T, Mouden S, Ward-Jones S, Owen R, Fortney J. Partnership for implementation of evidence-based mental health practices in rural federally qualified health centers: theory and methods. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action. 2012 Fall; 6(3): 389–398.

Speroff T, Sinnott PL, Marx B, Owen RR, Jackson JC, Greevy R, Sayer N, Murdoch M, Shane AC, Smith J, Alvarez J, Nwosu SK, Keane T, Weathers F, Schnurr PP, Friedman MJ. Impact of evidence-based standardized assessment on the disability clinical interview for diagnosis of service-connected PTSD: a cluster-randomized trial. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 2012 Dec; 25(6): 607–615.

Rosen CS, Tiet QQ, Harris A, Julian T, McKay J, Moore WM, Owen R, Rogers S, Rosito O, Smith D, Smith M, Schnurr PP. Telephone monitoring and support after discharge from residential PTSD treatment: a randomized controlled trial. Psychiatric Services. 2013 Jan: 64(1): 13–20.

Mittal D, Li C, Williams S, Viverito K, Owen RR. Monitoring Veterans for metabolic side effects when prescribing antipsychotics? Psychiatric Services. 2013 Jan; 64(1): 28–35.

Pemberton JR, Kramer TL, Borrego J, Owen RR. Kids at the VA? A call for evidence-based parenting interventions for returning Veterans. Psychological Services. 2013 May; 10(2): 194-202.

Fischer EP, Sherman MD, Han X, Owen RR. Outcomes of participation in the REACH multifamily group program for Veterans with PTSD and their families. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 2013 Jun; 44(3): 127-134.

Viverito KM, Cardin SA, Johnson LA, Owen RR. Lessons learned from two peer-led mutual support programs. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy. 2013 Oct; 63(4): 593-600.

Owen RR, Drummond KL, Viverito KM, Marchant K, Pope SK, Smith JL, Landes RD. Monitoring and managing metabolic effects of antipsychotics: a cluster randomized trial of an intervention combining evidence-based quality improvement and external facilitation. Implementation Science. ePub 2013 Oct 8; 8(1): 120.

Garfield LD, Scherrer JF, Hauptman PJ, Freedland KE, Chrusciel T, Balasubramanian S, Carney RM, Newcomer JW, Owen RR, Bucholz KK, Lustman PJ. Association of anxiety disorders and depression with incident heart failure. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2014 Feb;76(2):128-36..

Fortney JC, Owen RR. Increasing treatment engagement for persons with serious mental illness using personal health records. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2014 Mar; 171: 3

Mittal D, Li C, Viverito KM, Williams JS, Landes RD, Thapa PB, Owen RR. Monitoring for metabolic side-effects among outpatients with dementia receiving antipsychotics. Psychiatric Services. 2014 Sep;65(9):1147-1153.

Viverito K, Owen R, Mittal D, Li C, Williams JS.  Management of new hyperglycemia in patients prescribed antipsychotics.  Psychiatric Services. ePub – Sep 2014