Professional News
Foundation to Support Research Project On Barriers to Care
Psychiatric News
Volume 38 Number 14 page 9-9

The American Psychiatric Foundation has awarded a five-year, $700,000 grant to APA’s American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education for a major research study that will examine barriers to accessing quality mental health care and identify strategies that can be implemented to overcome those barriers. The grant is the largest ever made by the foundation.

The project will include numerous elements, such as the development and implementation of a pilot study of treatment barriers, outcomes, and quality of care for adolescents with major depression. It is anticipated that the data collected from this pilot will lead to a federal government grant for a full-scale study on the same topic.

Additionally, the project will examine the barriers to and outcomes of treatment for adults with major depression. This phase of the research program is also expected to generate data for developing a full-scale study of adults with major depression in collaboration with primary care physicians, psychologists, and social workers.

The grant will also support the follow-up evaluation of the impact of parity on federal employees. The first part of this evaluation project was funded by the foundation in 2000. This next phase will look at how the management, financing, and pricing of mental health benefits affect treatment provision and access to care.

In the latter part of the five-year grant period, data related to the development of depression-screening and quality-improvement tools will be used to report on patterns and outcomes of treatment and how barriers to treatment affect outcomes of care. Tools developed during the examination of major depression in adolescents and adults earlier in the project will be used to feed back information to clinicians to enhance treatment adherence and retention and to collaborating organizations to support depression screening and quality-improvement efforts.

"This project will have a lasting impact on our profession and patients for many years to come," said Abram M. Hostetter, M.D., president of the foundation. "It would not have been possible without the financial support of our donors."

More information on the foundation is posted on its Web site at www.PsychFoundation.org.

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