The Center is very pleased to report new funding for domestic and international projects, testing research interventions to help improve behavioral heatlh care for patients and providers.
- The The International Research Partnership funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, brings together research institutions and their partnering community clinics in Boston and in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain to enhance a collaborative international partnership and to develop the research evidence necessary to respond to Latino migrants’ behavioral health service needs.
- Effectiveness of DECIDE in Patient-Provider Communication, Therapeutic Alliance, and Care Continuation was approved for funding by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to address the importance of patient-provider communication, shared decision making, and therapeutic alliance with Latino, African American and Asian patients.
We congratulate Director Margarita Alegria for being named on El Planeta's Powermeter 100 list as one of the 100 most influential people for the state’s current Hispanic community.
New: Visit our Employment Opportunities page for available positions.
Recent Publications: Smoking and Mental Illness
CMMHR Researchers Benjamin Cook, Nilay Kafali and Michael Flores recently published a paper in JAMA warning that tobacco control and prevention policies have largely failed to help individuals with mental illness, who smoke at a rate almost double that of adults without mental illness and are generally more severely addicted than other smokers. The study, entitled “Trends in Smoking Among Adults With Mental Illness and Association Between Mental Health Treatment and Smoking Cessation” was published as part of a theme issue marking the 50-year anniversary of the landmark 1964 Surgeon General report on the dangers of tobacco use.
The gap in smoking rates has enormous, measurable consequences: “Individuals with severe mental illness have a life expectancy 25 years less than the rest of the population and their high rates of smoking explain a significant amount of this difference,” Dr. Cook said in an interview with Boston magazine. A large part of the problem, the authors report, is that cigarettes have long been used as a reward for good behavior in psychiatric settings, and many mental health professionals still believe that tobacco cessation can add to a patient’s stress and hinder recovery from mental illness. Still, they note, recent studies suggest that individuals with mental illness do want to stop using tobacco, and this study found that those who receive mental health treatment are more likely to successfully quit.
The lesson? Treatment for mental illness and tobacco addiction should be combined more often, with the potential for significant increases in quality and length of life for the mentally ill.
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Current CMMHR Projects:
- EXPORT II - UPR/CHA Research Center
- Effects of Social Context, Culture and Minority Status on Depression and Anxiety
- International Latino Research Partnership
- PCORI: Effectiveness of DECIDE in Patient-Provider Communication, Therapeutic Alliance & Care Continuation
- Understanding Mechanisms of Mental Health Care Disparities
- RWJF Mentoring and Training