MD, Pennsylvania State University, 1982
A major focus of my research concerns the form and course of depression among older adults. Based on clinical experience, I noted that depressed older persons in primary care settings often did not assent to sadness. Using the data from the NIMH Epidemiologic Catchment Area surveys I carried out a series of studies using novel statistical modeling (the MIMIC model) to explore how depression presents differently among older adults than younger persons. The spectrum studies built on these findings to carry out a mixed methods study of how older adults experience depression.
A second major area has involved treatment in primary care settings including medical comorbidity. I am the PI for a long-term follow-up of PROSPECT (Prevention of Suicide in Primary Care Elderly – Collaborative Trial), a randomized trial of depression management in primary care practices. In these follow-up studies, we have examined mortality as an outcome in the context of medical comorbidity. I am a co-investigator on a PCORI project on decision-making for men with early, localized prostate cancer.
A third major area involves the use of mixed methods in health services research. Mixed methods can bridge the gap between evidence generated from interventions under “ideal” conditions and the application of evidence-based practices for diverse populations in various contexts. I am the Director of the Mixed Methods Research Training Program for the Health Sciences, bringing Scholars and mentors together to advance the research employing mixed methods in the health sciences.
A fourth area concerns the epidemiology of psychiatric disorders in the population. Contribution to epidemiology of psychiatric disorders includes work on the identification of risk factors for depression, the intersection of physical and mental health, and methods for the detection of dementia and depression in populations. I am the Director for the Precursors Study, a longitudinal study of aging that began in 1947. I teach a course, “The Intersection of Physical and Mental Health.”
Honors and Awards
In recognition of my mentoring ability, I was awarded an NIMH Mid-Career Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24) and in 2008 I was the first recipient of the Steven Banks Award for mentoring in public mental health from the American Public Health Association.