Grants & Contracts
Andersen, T. C. (Co-PI), Foster, N. Memory care partner: Portable proactive and preventative planning application for Alzheimer’s and related disorders. National Institute on Aging (NIA), Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). Award number: 2R42AG044147-02A1. Total funds: $1,488,285. September 2016 – May 2019.
- Proactive Memory Services, Inc. (PAMS, Inc.), a University of Utah spinout company, has been awarded a grant by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to refine an interactive, mobile software application. NIA’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II award will enable PAMS to continue development of its tablet computer and smartphone application, Memory Care Partner, which will provide guidance to people with concerns about memory loss in a family member. The company is commercializing clinical care advances pioneered at the University of Utah’s Center for Alzheimer’s Care, Imaging and Research.
Edelman, L. (PI), Andersen, T. C. (Co-I). Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement program. Utah Geriatric Education Consortium. Award number: U1QHP28741. Total funds $3,750,000. July 2019 – June 2024.
- The Utah Geriatric Education Consortium (UGEC) is a Health Resources and Services Agency (HRSA) funded Geriatric Workforce Enhancement program. First funded in 2015, the UGEC aimed to enhance primary and geriatric care in 20 nursing homes in Utah through educational programs for students and nursing home providers and staff. In 2019, the UGEC applied for and received funding to expand programs across the Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) settings. With an increased emphasis on the four M’s of age-friendly health systems – mobility, medications, mentation, and what matters.
Supiano, K. (PI), Andersen, T. C. (Co-I). Group therapy for dementia caregivers at risk for complicated grief. National Alzheimer’s Association. Award number: AARG17503706. Total funds: $149,998. January 2017 – December 2020.
- The goal of this project is to adapt an efficacious intervention for complicated grief in bereaved dementia caregivers – Complicated Grief Group Therapy (CGGT) – for soon-to-be bereaved dementia caregivers at risk for complicated grief to facilitate healthy death preparedness and eventual bereavement – Pre-Loss Group Therapy (PLGT). First, the death preparedness of both bereaved and soon-to-be bereaved caregivers will be assessed. Second, CGGT will be adapted into PLGT, a 10-session group therapy intervention for soon-to-be bereaved dementia caregivers. Finally, PLGT will be administered and evaluated in the setting of long term care facilities among soon-to-be bereaved family caregivers at-risk for complicated grief and whose care recipient has a life expectancy of six months or less.
Farrell, T. (PI), Andersen, T. C. (Co-I). Interprofessional student hotspotting learning collaborative – hotspotting hub application. Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers Hotspotting Hub. Award number: U1QHP28741. Total Funds: $50,000. July 2017 – May 2019.
- Hotspotting, developed by Dr. Jeffrey Brenner and the Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers, is designed to fundamentally change how we care for the sickest and most complex patients in the health care system. By utilizing a data-driven approach to identify individuals with high utilization of acute care resources and targeting specific, patient-centered interventions to these patients, Hotspotting has the potential to accomplish all aspects of the quadruple aim of lower cost, better care, and an improved patient and provider experience.
Bettmann, J. E. (PI). An investigation into the effects of a wilderness program on veterans’ psychosocial functioning. Sierra Club Military Outdoors, Sierra Club. Award number: 10050256. Total Funds: $19,900. January 2019 – December 2019.
- The purpose of this study is to assess the outcomes of veterans who participate in the expeditions as a part of Sierra Club Military Outdoors (SCMO) expeditions program. The dilemma between the need for effective mental health treatment for veterans and their reluctance to engage in traditional treatment modalities for fear of stigma warrants further investigation into alternative modes of reaching veterans. Though therapeutic adventure shows promise as a way to engage veterans and enact positive changes in functioning, little is known about how therapeutic adventure may impact mental health symptoms and psychological processes among veterans. Thus, this study aims to examine changes in mental health symptoms and related psychological processes over the course of an expedition-length SCMO program and at a one-month and one-year follow-up.
Broadbent, M. (PI). Evaluation of Grandfamilies program. Utah Division of Child and Family Services. Total funds: $97,057. November 2018 – September 2020.
- The purpose of this project is to assist the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) in meeting the requirements of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) by evaluating the degree to which the Grandfamilies program can qualify as an evidence-based kinship navigator program.
Byrne, K. (PI), Jaggers, J. (PI). Evaluation of the Plan of Safe Care from Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS). Total funds: $100,000. January 2019 – December 2019.
- Utilizing a mixed method approach, this grant is aimed at evaluating the implementation of the Plan of Safe Care Act in Utah. The Plan of Safe Care Act directs how DCFS handles cases with substance abusing pregnant women and their infants. The researchers have conducted over 30 interviews with stakeholders around the state, including medical providers, clinical providers, and mothers.
Keeshin, B., Byrne, K. (Co-I). Pediatric integrated post-trauma services: An evidence based care process model for pediatric traumatic stress. SAMHSA National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Award number: 5U79SM080000-03. Total funds: $3,000,000. September 2016 – September 2022.
- The purpose of this project is to develop and disseminate clinical algorithms and tools for medical providers to detect, assess, and manage traumatic stress, facilitating timely treatment and referral and minimizing the misuse of medication. The area of trauma focus is injuries and medical problems/health care settings/integrated care. The project goals include: 1) develop an evidence based care process model (EB-CPM) and decision support tools for pediatric traumatic stress; 2) implement and assess pediatric traumatic stress EB-CPM for frontline healthcare providers in primary care and children’s advocacy centers; and 3) provide national leadership on the use of care process models in trauma exposed children.
Facelli, J. C. (PI), Cambron, C. (Co-I). Developing infrastructure and harmonized metrics to study the impact of Opioid ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) programs. Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Award number: 3UL1TR002538-02S1. Total funds: $513,925. August 2019 – February 2021.
- This project seeks to use the existing research infrastructure of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) network to develop a sustainable and harmonized research strategy that will determine the impact of the ECHO model on improving patient-level outcomes associated with opioid use disorder treatment.
Cambron, C. (PI). Using mobile technology to understand the impact of socioeconomic and neighborhood factors on smoking cessation. National Cancer Institute, Ruth L. Kirschstein National
Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32). Award number: F32 CA232796-01. Total funds: $52,000. July 2018 – July 2019.
- This project used mobile health technology to examine of how socioeconomic status (SES) and neighborhood environments operate through momentary lived experiences of affect and social context during a quit attempt. Results will provide novel information for smoking cessation programs and continue to propel the scientific study of SES-related health disparities.
Castillo, J. (PI), Frost, C. J. (Co-I), Davis, M.J. (Co-I). A vision forward in substance abuse education: The training and development of advanced substance use disorder counselors within diverse communities and populations. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Award number: 5M01HP31280-02. Total funds: $1,200,000. September 2017 – August 2021.
- In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded the University of Utah Substance Use Disorder Treatment Training Certificate (SUDTTC) Program with a four-year grant in the amount of $1.2 million ($300,000/year). The purpose of the grant is to educate and train people to work as professional substance use disorder counselors in medically underserved areas and/or with medically underserved populations in the state of Utah. In 2017, a total of 61 SUDTTC students/trainees received scholarships, helping them to pay for their tuition in the SUDTTC Program.
Davis, M. J. (PI). Division of Juvenile Justice Services program evaluation and improvement project. Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services (DJJS). Award number: A02619. Total funds: $422,000. July 2018 – June 2023.
- The project will continue the implementation and sustainability of a program evaluation feedback and improvement system that will allow the Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services (DJJS) to demonstrate the effectiveness of services and measure the impact of quality improvement initiatives.
Davis, M. J. (PI). Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA) program development, implementation, and evaluation. Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness. Total Funds: $112,500. September 2018 – September 2021.
- The project provides development, implementation, and evaluation support for Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness to provide peer-to-peer substance use services. Researchers are assisting USARA to create a sustainable model for providing peer recovery services statewide. Funding is provided by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH).
Davis, M. J. (PI), Hopkins, R. (Co-PI). Evaluation of the Utah State Youth Treatment Implementation project (UT SYT-I). Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Award number: A02543. Total funds: $342,000. November 2018 – August 2019.
- The project will create a program evaluation feedback and improvement system that will allow the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) to demonstrate the effectiveness of services and measure the impact of quality improvement initiatives.
Davis, M. J. (PI), Harris, N., Fluke, J., Armstrong, M., Fitzgerald, M., Tanana, M. J. (Co-I), and Vanderloo, M. J. (Co-I). Evaluation of Utah’s Division of Child and Family Service’s Title IV-E demonstration waiver. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Award number: 132315. Total Funds: $3,000,000. April 2013 – March 2019.
- Evaluation of the Utah Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration. Evaluation includes process, outcome, and cost components.
Terry, M. B. (Co-PI), Frost, C. J. (Co-PI), Buys, S., Colonna, S., O’Toole, K. Breast cancer family registry cohort. National Institutes of Health. Award number: 1UM1CA16492001A1UT. Total funds: $349,886. December 2017 – November 2022.
- The goal of this six-site cancer study is to maintain a cancer data repository and to conduct studies linked to personalized genomic medicine in the context of cancer research. The researchers will also recruit women and men less than age 40 years to a research cohort study. Additionally, the team will collect biospecimens and mammographic information about these participants.
Gren, L.H. (Co-PI), Frost, C. J. (Co-PI). Understanding breast cancer in Eastern Ghana. doTerra Foundation. Total funds: $25,000. January 2019 – December 2019.
- Researchers will conduct a needs assessment with Volta River Authority Hospital on breast care unit development, as well as conduct qualitative interviews with women diagnosed with breast cancer and community women and men about their knowledge of breast cancer.
Rothwell, E. (PI), Frost, C. J. (Co-I). Video Informed Consent Information (VICI) for residual newborn specimen research. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Award number: 5R01 HD082148. Total Funds: Funds: $346,649. September 2015 – May 2020.
- Investigators will conduct pilot study research to evaluate a video and app called the "Video Informed Consent Information (VICI)" consent approach to determine understandability of information and potential to increase interest in biobanking newborn blood specimens.
Garland, E. L. (PI). Targeting hedonic dysregulation to address chronic pain and opioid misuse in primary care. National Institute on Drug Abuse – Behavioral and Integrative Treatment Program. Award number: R01DA042033. Total funds: $2,828,034. September 2016 – July 2021.
- Prescription opioid misuse is a public health threat that is being addressed with heightened urgency at both clinical and policy levels. Extant therapies for opioid misuse and chronic pain may have limited efficacy because they fail to directly target the maladaptive emotion-cognition interactions and hedonic dysregulation inherent in these co-occurring problems. To meet this need, the PI developed a novel behavioral intervention, Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE). MORE is innovative in that it aims to modify associative learning mechanisms hijacked during the allostatic process of opioid misuse by strengthening top-down cognitive control to restructure bottom-up reward learning from valuation of drug reward to natural reward – something that no other behavioral intervention for opioid misuse has been designed to do. The goal of this study is to conduct a full-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT) of MORE to reduce aberrant drug-related behaviors and chronic pain among opioid misusing patients in primary care. Participants are randomized to eight weeks of MORE or a conventional support group control administered in community primary care clinics. Patient-reported outcomes are assessed pre- to post-treatment and through a nine-month follow-up. Ultimately, this translational research proposal aims to advance evidence-based integration of behavioral health into primary care.
Martin-Soelch, C. (PI), Garland, E. L. (Co-I). Understanding and restoring dopaminergic function in fibromyalgia patients using a mindfulness-based psychological intervention: A raclopride PET-study. Swiss National Science Foundation. Award Number: 182766. Total Funds: $700,000 Swiss Francs. October 2019 – September 2023.
- Chronic pain, defined as a pain lasting for more than 6 months, is regarded as a major health problem in western European countries. Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is one of the most prevalent chronic pain conditions, with a widely unknown etiology and is difficult to treat. A better understanding of FMS and the development of new treatment strategies for this disease are therefore very relevant issues in healthcare. The current guidelines for the treatment of fibromyalgia consider psychological interventions, in particular cognitive-behavioral methods a treatment of choice. Mindfulness is regarded as an interesting approach for FMS, however without conclusive empirical evidence so far. A recent promising intervention, the Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) intervention, which was originally developed to treat substance dependence, has shown beneficial effects in chronic pain patients with opioid abuse. The MORE intervention is a cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness based group training of 8 weeks. Interestingly, preliminary results indicate that this intervention is able to restore the neurophysiological and behavioral responses to reward. The present project is a continuation of a previous SNF-funded project of the PI on FMS that evidenced impaired dopamine (DA) function and altered DA response to reward in FMS in comparison to age and gender matched healthy participants. This innovative new project aims to build on these previous findings and to generate additional important clinical and scientific knowledge by investigating the ability of MORE to restore the DA function in FMS patients, in particular with regard to the DA responses to reward, and to reduce pain and mood symptoms in FMS.
Finan, P. (PI), Garland, E.L. (Co-I). Separate and combined effects of mindfulness meditation and savoring on pain-related corticostriatal function. National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health. Award number: R61AT010134. Total Funds: $1,005,568. July 2019 – June 2021.
- The major goal of this project is to test the separate and combined effects of mindfulness and savoring techniques on corticostriatal function in chronic pain patients.
Froeliger, B. (MPI), Saladin, M. (MPI), Garland, E. L. (PI). Neural mechanisms mediating appetitive regulation and smoking in nicotine addiction. National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse. Award number: R01DA048094. Total Funds: $2,277,413. June 2019 – March 2024.
- The major goal of this project is to test the effects of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement on nicotine addiction pathophysiology.
Goldstein, R.Z. (PI), Garland, E. L. (Co-I). Neuroimaging response inhibition and salience attribution changes during mindfulness-based treatment of human heroin addiction. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Award number: R01AT010627. Total Funds: $3,775,359. April 2019 – March 2024.
- The major goal of this project will be to use neuroimaging of reward processing, drug cue reactivity and inhibitory control before and immediately after eight-weeks of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement as compared to standard of care in opioid addiction; clinical outcomes will be assessed immediately and three months after treatment.
Bryan, C. (PI), Garland, E. L. (Co-PI). Brief cognitive behavioral therapy replication trial. Department of Defense. Award number: W81XWH1820022. Total funds: $4,900,000. July 2018 – June 2023.
- The overall goal for the proposed project is to test the effectiveness of brief cognitive behavioral therapy (BCBT) for the prevention of suicide attempts in a sample of treatment-seeking Marines. The standard null hypothesis will involve tests conducted comparing improvement following BCBT (treatment duration of 12 weeks) to Person-Centered Therapy (PCT). The primary outcome comparisons will include direct markers of suicidality (i.e. suicide, suicide attempts). Secondary outcomes will be suicide ideation and indicators of psychiatric distress (e.g., depression, hopelessness). The researchers also aim to assess several hypothesized psychological and neurocognitive mediators of treatment effects (e.g., wish to live, attentional bias, emotion regulation). Participants will be followed for two years post-treatment by independent evaluators blind to treatment condition.
Fritz, J. (PI), Garland, E. L. (Co-PI). SMART stepped care management for low back pain in military health system. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and Department of Defense. Award number: UG3AT009763. Total funds: $6,438,846. September 2017 – August 2023.
- Chronic pain is a ubiquitous problem and growing concern for the Military Health System (MHS). Low back pain (LBP) is the most common condition that leads to chronic pain. Numerous recommendations have been made to improve care for LBP and chronic pain in the MHS, including implementation of a stepped care approach. Stepped care is a treatment process that begins with broadly accessible, less intensive interventions that can benefit many patients. Those who do not respond to initial treatments are stepped up to more intensive treatment. While stepped care is advocated for pain management, and has been beneficial for improving care in other chronic conditions, many questions remain about which treatments to use within each step, and the importance of sequences of care decisions. The SMART Stepped Care Management Project supports an innovative sequential multiple randomization trial specifically designed to address these key questions. Patients in the MHS with chronic LBP are randomly assigned to either receive physical therapy or the holistic move to health intervention. After six weeks patients’ responsiveness to their first treatment step is determined. Non-responders are re-randomized to receive either Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) or treatment from an Integrative Pain Medicine Center. This SMART trial compares the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Step 1 and 2 treatments in a stepped care approach for patients with LBP in the MHS with patient-centered and healthcare cost outcomes, with an emphasis on the studying the sequencing effects of different treatment combinations.
Zgierska, A. (Overall PI), Garland, E. L. (PI, Utah Site). A comparative effectiveness randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus cognitive behavioral therapy for opioid-treated chronic low back pain. Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Award number: OPD-1601-33860. Total funds: $8,430,230. January 2017 – December 2022.
- One in four U.S. adults have chronic low back pain, which is defined as any type of pain in the low back or radiating down to the legs (sciatica) that lasts for three or more months. Doctors often cannot cure chronic low back pain, but they may prescribe an opioid medicine to help patients manage their pain. These medicines can have serious side effects, such as addiction to the medicine, depression, or even death from accidental overdose. This study compares two ways non-opioid treatments help patients reduce chronic low back pain and improve their quality of life: mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy. Mindfulness meditation helps people train their minds to focus attention in a certain way to cope with and reduce negative reactions to pain. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of psychological therapy, helps people learn how to change their thoughts and feelings about pain and develop new ways to think and act when they are in pain. The aim of this comparative effectiveness trial is to assess if mindfulness-based intervention is more effective than standard-of-care CBT for improving pain and function.
Zubieta, J.K. (MPI), Garland, E. L. (PI). Effects of Mindfulness-Oriented Intervention on endogenous opioid mechanisms of hedonic regulation in chronic pain. NIH-National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (R61/R33). Award number: R61AT009296. Total funds: $830,946. September 2016 – September 2021.
- Chronic pain is typically managed with extended use of opioid analgesics, despite an absence of data on their long-term efficacy and clear evidence of significant health risks. Chronic pain patients receiving extended opioid therapy suffer from impaired regulation of aversive (e.g., pain) and appetitive experience (e.g., pleasure), dual processes subserved by opioid-mediated, hedonic regulatory mechanisms. Extant therapies may have limited efficacy because they fail to directly target the neural circuits of hedonic regulation. The overarching aim of this study is to determine the capacity of a novel meditation intervention, Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), to restore endogenous opioid system function as measured with PET and a selective μ-opioid radiotracer. This multi-PI proposal unites expertise in meditation-based interventions with expertise in neurogenetics and the use of PET and fMRI to probe the neurobiological mechanisms of pain and affective experience, and builds upon a program of prior research which provided preliminary efficacy data on the MORE intervention and standardized its delivery via manualization of the treatment and development of fidelity measures. By elucidating a key mechanism of this meditation-based intervention, this translational research study will enable rapid optimization of MORE for stage III clinical trial implementation and dissemination.
Bryan, C. (PI), Garland, E. L. (Co-I). Targeting chronic pain and co-occurring disorders in the community with Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement. Department of Defense, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. Award number: W81XWH-15-PRMRP-CTA. Total funds: $3,434,996. August 2016 – August 2021.
- The co-occurrence of chronic pain, psychological distress, and misuse of prescription opioids undermines the mission of the U.S. Military and inflicts suffering upon veterans and their families. Unfortunately, there are no evidence-based treatments that simultaneously address pain, opioid misuse, and psychological distress. To fill this gap, this study is a trial of a novel integrative medicine approach combining Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) with conventional opioid pain management for service members and veterans. The study utilizes lab-based assessments and mobile technology to understand how MORE works to create therapeutic change, and to predict whether and when service members and veterans are at risk for relapsing back to opioid misuse. To accomplish this objective, lab-based assessments evaluate physiological reactivity to cues associated with past episodes of pain and opioid use, and a smartphone-based assessment evaluates opioid craving, pain, and negative mood in “the real world.” Because changes in heart rate and other physiological factors may indicate the extent to which a person’s brain has been triggered by opioid craving, this application of mind-body assessments to predict opioid misuse risk and treatment outcomes could facilitate early risk detection and penetrate denial.
Cooperman, N. (PI), Garland, E. L. (Co-I), Hanley, A. W. (Co-I). Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement as an adjunct to methadone treatment for opioid use and chronic pain management. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (R21/R33). Award number: R21AT010109. Total funds: $1,819,967 (for R21 and R33 phases combined). September 2019 – September 2021.
- This project will study the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) as an adjunct to medication assisted treatment (MAT) in patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) and chronic pain.
Fritz, J. (PI), Garland, E. L. (Co-PI), Hanley, A. W. (Co-I). Optimizing treatment sequencing for patients with chronic, nonspecific low back pain. Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) – Optimized Multidisciplinary Treatment Programs for Nonspecific Chronic Low Back Pain. Award number: OTS-LBP-2017C1-6486. Total funds: $9,689,014. September 2018 – March 2025.
- This study will use a sequential multiple assignment randomized trial (SMART) design to determine the optimal treatment sequencing of physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness-based therapy for chronic pain.
Hanley, A. W. (PI). Optimizing psychosocial pain management: Examining treatment moderators, intervention utilization, and postoperative outcomes. University of Utah Research Foundation. Total funds: $25,209. April 2019 – April 2020.
- This project’s primary aim is to identify which surgical patients respond best to one of three preoperative psychosocial interventions so as to more skillfully personalize pain management strategies.
Hopkins, R. (PI). Victim advocate training needs assessment. Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Award number: 10042698. Total Funds: $25,466. February 2019 – June 2019.
- This evaluation consists of a statewide crime victim advocate training needs assessment that includes two components. The first seeks to understand priority crime victim advocate training needs. The second focuses on H.B. 177 (Trauma-Informed Justice Provisions) implementation, which is designed to strengthen the capacity of the crime victim advocate workforce in Utah by recommending minimum standards and training requirements for crime victim advocates.
Hopkins, R. (PI). Medicaid 1115 waiver evaluation. Utah Department of Health. Award number: 182700856. Total funds: $962,560. March 2018 – February 2023.
- This evaluation of Utah’s Medicaid waiver demonstration will examine the effects of policy changes and expanded health care coverage to underserved populations. Specific services to be included in the study include substance use disorder treatment.
Hopkins, R. (PI). Victims of crime needs assessment. Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Award number: 161724. Total funds: $236,603. June 2016 – January 2019.
- This evaluation consists of statewide crime victim needs assessment studies of domestic violence and rape and sexual assault in Utah, with a specific focus on the need for specific crime victim service capacity and delivery.
Hopkins, R. (PI), Osteen, P. J. (Co-PI). Families First. Utah State Department of Human Services – Division of Child and Family Services. Award number: A02742. Total funds: $85,438. November 2018 – September 2019.
- This evaluation seeks to demonstrate the effectiveness of Utah Youth Village’s “Families First” program by conducting a six-month post program assessment of outcomes and family treatment goal accomplishment.
Hopkins, R. (PI), Osteen, P. J. (Co-PI). Evaluation of Utah national suicide grant strategy. Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. Award number: A02541. Total funds: $74,691. April 2018 – September 2020.
- This evaluation of Utah’s implementation of the National Strategy to Prevent Suicide will include process and outcome data collection and analysis of state-level implementation and mini-grant activities.
Davis, M. J. (PI), & Hopkins, R. (Co-PI). Evaluation of the Utah State Youth Treatment Implementation Grant Project (UT SYT-I). Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Award number: A02543. Total funds: $342,000. November 2018 – August 2019.
- The project will create a program evaluation feedback and improvement system that will allow the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) to demonstrate the effectiveness of services and measure the impact of quality improvement initiatives.
Hoy-Ellis, C. P. (PI). Social neuroscience of depression: Developmental stage & sexual and gender minority (SGM) identities. University of Utah Research Foundation. Total Funds: $34,541. June 2019 – June 2020.
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognize sexual and gender minorities (SGM) as a health disparate population for the purposes of research. The National Survey of Midlife Development data found stark contrasts in the past-year prevalence of major depression among 18 to 74-year-old Americans. The rate among lesbian and bisexual women (34%) was twice that of heterosexual women (17%), while gay and bisexual men (31%) had three times the rate compared to heterosexual men (10%). Rates among gender identity minorities may approach 50%. Evidence suggests that internalized SGM identity stigma and identity concealment are significantly associated with depression among SGM people; yet our understanding of how these underlying pathways of risk contribute to disparately high rates of depression among SGM remains extremely limited. This pilot study aims to compare heterosexuals and SGM to examine potential mechanisms through which the social nervous system mediates and/or moderates sexual/gender identity stigma and identity concealment and social threat to increase risk for depression among SGM. In the first step, the researchers will record and analyze specific patterns of autonomic reactivity to visual stimuli via psychophysiological indices of heart rate variability, skin conductance response, and respiration that capture cortical-subcortical cognitive and affective physiological processing of SGM social threat and affirmation. Second, experimentally-induced suppression as a cognitive/affective coping mechanism potentially influencing physiological arousal response patterns in identity stigma and identity concealment will be tested, with the objective of comparing effects of brief suppression of SGM identity to a no suppression control condition on psychophysiological reactions to SGM-related negative, neutral, and positive stimuli. To meet these aims and objectives the researchers will recruit a sample of 120 SGM and heterosexual adults to more fully capture the variability of identity stigma and concealment across the spectrum of gender identity and sexual orientation.
Jaggers, J. W. (PI). Evaluation of implementation and monitoring of Plan of Safe Care. Utah Department of Child and Family Services. Award number: A02743. Total Funds: $100,467. December 2018 – November 2019.
- The purpose of this study is to evaluate how effectively Utah is following the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) policies and procedures, which were designed to notify Child Protective Services (CPS) of substance-abused newborns and establish a Plan of Safe Care for newborns, where necessary. The objectives of this study are threefold: 1) To evaluate what characteristics are associated with social workers decisions to implement a particular Plan of Safe Care; 2) To evaluate what services are provided to Plan of Safe Care Families (in home care and foster care); and 3) To evaluate what decision-making protocols are used to determine which families receive a Plan of Safe Care in-home and which families have the Plan of Safe Care where their children are removed into foster care. The findings from this research will be disseminated and published.
Jaggers, J. W. (PI) & Prince, K. C. (Co-I). Evaluation of the Social Work Support Public Defender Demonstration program. Utah Indigent Defense Commission. Award number: 191118. Total Funds: $45,000. December 2018 – September 2019.
- The Social Work Support Public Defender program is a project piloted by the Utah Indigent Defense Commission (IDC) that assigns a social worker to child welfare cases to assist parental defense attorneys. Because research suggests that parents who effectively engage in the child welfare system are more likely to benefit from services and be reunited with their children, this pilot project sought to increase parental commitment to the change process, increase access to services, and improve family and child outcomes. The current process evaluation included interviewing parental defense attorney clients who had or had not participated in the social worker pilot program. Further, various stakeholders involved in the parent representation program (PRP) pilot were interviewed regarding the role of the social worker on child welfare cases. These stakeholders’ included judges, assistant attorneys general, guardians ad litem, public defenders, and Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) caseworkers.
Keyes, T. S. (PI). Examining culturally relevant restorative practices for improving school-based relationships. University Research Committee Faculty Scholarly Grant Program. Total funds: $9,576. March 2019 – March 2021.
- The educational outcomes for American Indian students, when compared to other racial groups, are among the lowest. One approach for addressing the educational disparities is to improve school discipline practices by embracing culturally relevant restorative justice (RJ) practices. Often the success of RJ practices use outcome measures such as attendance, grades, suspension, and expulsion. However, missing from these outcomes are whether positive school-based relationships improve and if a sense of trust and belonging impact student engagement. Interviews will be conducted with five high school students from three high schools within San Juan School District. Students will be recruited to participate in the study if they have been involved with culturally relevant RJ practices within the last three years. This study will use phenomenological analysis to examine how culturally relevant Native restorative justice practices, implemented in the San Juan School District (SJSD), influence school-based relationships. Also missing from the literature is if and how the current trauma-informed literature aligns with restorative justice practices. This study will compare the qualitative themes (created during the analysis) to assess whether the RJ practices align with current trauma-informed practices. The findings will be a starting point to advance our understanding about how culturally relevant RJ practices improve educational outcomes for American Indian students. Subsequent studies will follow to create school-based interventions that improve school culture and climate and to develop culturally relevant RJ curriculum for public schools.
McDonald, C. (PI), Davis, M. J. (Co-PI), Vanderloo, M. J. Title IV-E training, Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families. Award number: A02433. Total funds: $13,500,000. July 2017 – June 2022.
- This federal grant involves research and education components that include participants from the BSW Program, the MSW Program, and new and existing child welfare workers in the agency. The goal of the project is to assess whether a comprehensive, evidence-based training package can impact outcomes in daily practice. A child welfare worker's first child abuse or neglect case is often an overwhelming experience. The process of engaging, gathering information, and making a decision requires a complex skill set, which is difficult to perform under the best circumstances. When the situation is highly emotional, competent performance is even harder to achieve. To better equip child welfare workers with the skills they will need for their first case, the University of Utah, in partnership with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, has developed a simulation experience of a worker’s first case. The training of child welfare workers, like many other types of social work, is acquired mainly through on-the-job experience. This type of training leads to wide ranges in competency and outcomes. This is the first cradle-to-grave training program in the nation and will incorporate cutting-edge evidence-based training modalities including virtual-reality and simulation.
Min, M. O. (PI). Gender and developmental trajectories to adolescent substance use and sexual risk behavior. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Award number: NIDA R01 DA042747. Total funds: $842,460. September 2019 – July 2020.
- This is a secondary data analysis grant to examine gender differences in behavioral trajectories leading to substance use and sexual risk behaviors in adolescents with and without prenatal cocaine/polydrug exposure, capitalizing on the combined datasets from two longitudinal birth cohorts.
O'Connor, A. B. (PI). Developing data-driven evidence-informed feedback mechanisms for autonomous anti-trafficking task forces. U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime and Bureau of Justice Assistance. Award number: 2018-VT-BX-K085. Total funds: $1,300,000. October 2018 - September 2021.
- The Utah State Attorney General's Office and the Refugee and Immigrant Center – Asian Association of Utah co-run a non-affiliated (non-funded) task force to respond to the issue of human trafficking. In order to best support the task force in evidence-informed development, evaluators gather data about task-force related activities to identify strength and gaps in four main areas indicated in existing literature to best support the goal of ending human trafficking: prevention, prosecution, protection, and partnership.
O’Connor, A. B. (PI). Evaluation of a peer-to-peer model of recovery through targeted capacity expansion for peer-to-peer services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration with the Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness. Total funds: $250,000. October 2016 – September 2019.
- Peer-to-peer recovery services may provide an opportunity to address gaps in support and improve outcomes for individuals in recovery. To examine outcomes and processes associated with a peer-to-peer model of recovery from substance misuse, evaluators work with a local agency delivering peer-led recovery services (Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness; USARA) to implement data driven processes into standard agency procedures. Outcomes examined include social support, quality of life, access to resources, perceived recovery experience, abstinence from substance misuse, and involvement with criminal justice system; process measures include alliance to peer coach, satisfaction with services, and fidelity measurements. This evaluation presents a particularly exciting opportunity to contribute to SAMHSA’s national knowledge base as peer-to-peer models of recovery are increasingly used, but little is known about effective processes to guide implementation and maximize outcomes.
O’Connor, A. B. (PI). Evaluation of Utah financial education integration expansion project. Utah Department of Workforce Services and Fair Credit Foundation. Total funds: $330,000. October 2016 – September 2019.
- The Utah Financial Education Integration Expansion Project’s (UFEIP) primary goal is to increase beneficial financial knowledge, skills, and behavior by providing financial education and skill development to TANF (temporary assistance for needy families)-eligible individuals through empirically-based financial coaching and financial workshops. Piloted through more than five years of previous programming, UFEIP provides financial workshops and one-on-one financial coaching. Outcomes examined include change in financial knowledge, confidence, stress, and relative goal attainment.
O’Connor, A. B. (PI). Enhanced Collaborative Model to combat human trafficking. U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance and Utah Attorney General’s Office. Award number: 2015 VT BX K043. Total funds: $899,512. October 2015 – March 2019.
- The Enhanced Collaborative Model is a joint project between the Utah State Attorney General and the Refugee and Immigrant Center – Asian Association of Utah designed to develop a multidisciplinary task force to combat human trafficking. The two-pronged approach supports both law enforcement and service providers to expand capacity and response to trafficking victims through data-driven collaboration.
O’Connor, A. B. (PI). Evaluation of Utah trafficking in person’s task force enhanced collaborative model to combat human trafficking. U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crimes and the Refugee and Immigrant Center-Asian Association of Utah. Total funds: $400,000. October 2015 – March 2019.
- The Enhanced Collaborative Model is a joint project between the Utah State Attorney General and the Refugee and Immigrant Center – Asian Association of Utah designed to develop a multidisciplinary task force to combat human trafficking. The two-pronged approach supports both law enforcement and service providers to expand capacity and response to trafficking victims through data-driven collaboration.
O’Connor, A. B. (PI), Davis, M. J. (Co-I). Evaluation of state targeted response to the opioid crisis (STR). Utah Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health with the Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness and Substance Abuse (USARA). Total funds: $450,000. December 2017 – June 2019.
- This project provides implementation support and evaluates integration of peer-to-peer models of recovery into medical settings, including emergency departments and primary care. Outcomes examined include frequency of individuals seen by peers in medical settings, distribution of naloxone kits and other harm reduction strategies, and subsequent involvement with recovery community resources. Services for families of those in recovery are additionally provided and evaluated under the grant.
O'Connor, A. B. (Co-PI), & Davis, M. J. (Co-I). Peer-led recovery models in targeted response to the opioid crisis: State targeted response and building communities of recovery. United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Total funds: $1,200,000. October 2017 – October 2022.
- Peer-led recovery supports present promising opportunities to effectively support individuals in recovery to achieve goals and well-being. State targeted response (STR) aims to develop and pilot models for effective development implementation, and maintenance of peer-led supports to optimally address opiate misuse and support family members. Building Communities of Recovery (BCOR) extends models implementation to three high-need communities across Utah.
Osteen, P. J. (PI). An evaluation of Grandfamilies. Utah Division of Child and Family Services, US Department of Health and Human Services. Total funds: $98,000. Award number: A02742. November 2018 – March 2020.
- The Social Research Institute (SRI) will conduct an evaluation of the Grandfamilies program to assist the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) in meeting the requirements of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA).
Osteen, P. J. (PI). Online screening and early intervention to prevent suicide among middle-aged men. Centers for Disease Control; sub-award with University of Maryland. Award number: 1600184A 2026. Total funds: $46,550. September 2018 – August 2019.
- The unusually high risk of suicide among middle-aged men, coupled with their limited use of mental health resources, calls for unique approaches specifically tailored to the needs of this hard-to-reach population. This study utilizes a randomized controlled trial to evaluate an online screening tool and an online therapeutic program known as Man-Therapy™, both targeting men ages 35-64 who are at higher risk for suicide. The programs to be evaluated in this research directly target middle-aged men in places where they are most comfortable – at home, at work, and online.
Prince, K. C. (PI). Community-based arrest and referral assessment (DMC). State of Utah, Utah Board of Juvenile Justice. Award number: 196135. Total funds: $70,000. December 2018—September 2019.
- Within the area of criminal justice, few issues have generated as much interest and controversy as the relationship between race and ethnicity and crime. Criminal justice decision makers have become concerned with the racial/ethnic disparities that exist in the juvenile justice system and are actively working to understand the issue of disproportionate minority contact (DMC) and to develop efforts to reduce it. Trends in DMC are quantitated by the relative rate index (RRI). This study sought to better understand the longitudinal trends in DMC RRIs in specific jurisdictions across Utah. RRIs compare the rate of contact for White youth to minority youth, after adjusting for the population prevalence of both groups. Seeking to better understand the issue in Utah, the study involved: 1) a review of the current state of the literature; 2) an examination of RRI trends at the arrest and referral points of contact; 3) surveys with law enforcement to explore the meaning of the trends; and 4) interviews with law enforcement and court personnel.
Prince, K. C. (PI). A randomized controlled trial of the Salt Lake County criminal justice Pay for Success (PFS) Program: Recovery, Engagement, Assessment, Career Development, and Housing (REACH). Private investment banks and philanthropic organizations. Award number: 0000001404. Total funds: $725,000. January 2017 – December 2023.
- Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative approach that leverages taxpayer risk by funding social service programs with private capital and ties payment for services to demonstrated outcomes through rigorous evaluation. Salt Lake County has partnered with the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC), First Step House (FSH), Sorenson Impact Center, and a variety of community stakeholders to develop a PFS project to address high recidivism rates among offender populations. The Recovery, Engagement, Assessment, Career Development, and Housing (REACH) program was designed by FSH to serve high-risk, high-need adult male probationers with moderate to severe substance abuse disorders. Specific program components include: evidence-based interventions specifically designed to address criminogenic factors that are tied to recidivism; substance use disorder treatment; employment support through job placement, education, and training; support and case management to meet individual needs through benefits enrollment, health resources, and community engagement; and housing support. UCJC was selected as the independent evaluator on this $6.3 million, six-year project, and is currently conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study to examine the program’s success improving criminal justice and employment outcomes.
Prince, K. C. (PI). A randomized controlled trial of the Salt Lake County homelessness Pay for Success (PFS) Program: Homes Not Jails (HNJ). Private investment banks and philanthropic organizations. Award number: 0000001404. Total funds: $611,712. January 2017 – December 2023.
- Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative approach that leverages taxpayer risk by funding social service programs with private capital and ties payment for services to demonstrated outcomes through rigorous evaluation. Salt Lake County has partnered with the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC), The Road Home (TRH), Sorenson Impact Center, and a variety of community stakeholders to develop a PFS project to address homelessness within the community. Despite spending $52 million in Salt Lake County annually on the homelessness service system, there are still large numbers of persistently homeless individuals in the County. The persistently homeless are defined as those individuals who have spent between 90 and 364 days over the previous year in emergency shelters, on the streets, or otherwise tracked as being homeless. These individuals spend long periods of time in emergency shelter and are commonly booked into jail for low-level crimes related to homelessness (e.g., public intoxication, trespassing). Analysis of this population demonstrates that the persistently homeless are at clear risk of remaining homeless without support and are a strain on public resources. Despite their poor outcomes, these individuals are highly unlikely to receive the currently available services for the homeless. To directly address this population and its unique issues, the County decided to utilize a Rapid Rehousing (RRH) approach to serve persistently homeless individuals through the Housing not Jail (HNJ) program. The HNJ program, developed by The Road Home (TRH), is based on the framework of the Housing First (HF) model, and was designed to move persistently homeless individuals out of the emergency shelter and into a stable housing placement. HNJ augments the RRH and HF models by incorporating a number of evidence-based practices and comprehensive wraparound services, such as intensive case management, behavioral health group services, and referral to employment services. The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) was selected as the Independent Evaluator on this $5.7 million, six-year project, and is currently conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study to examine the program’s success improving housing stability, criminal justice, and behavioral health outcomes.
Prince, K. C. (PI), Sarver, C. (Co-I). Evaluation of the 24/7 Sobriety Pilot program. Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS). Total funds: $88,000. July 2018 – September 2021.
- Beginning July 1, 2018, repeat DUI offenders in certain Weber County courts may be enrolled in a new program that will allow them to maintain their driving privileges but require them to abstain from alcohol and drugs for a full year. The new 24/7 Sobriety Program, which is being piloted by the Weber County Sheriff’s Office, aims to reduce repeat DUI recidivism. Despite some evidence that suggests the program may be effective, methodological limitations of past studies make it difficult to determine whether the 24/7 program is actually more effective than current practices. As such, DPS has contracted with the Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) to provide consultation and a three-year evaluation of the 24/7 Sobriety Pilot Program.
Prince, K. C. (PI), Sarver, C. (Co-I). Employment, fatherhood, and reentry study. State of Utah, Department of Workforce Services (DWS). Award number: 18DWS0092. Total funds: $90,000. May 2018 – April 2020.
- The purpose of this study is twofold: 1) to develop an understanding of the perceived barriers to obtaining meaningful employment for fathers transitioning out of incarceration through in-person interviews; and 2) to conduct a preliminary evaluation of the Invest in Dads Too pilot program for fathers reintegrating into the community. Taken together, the findings from this study have the potential to inform policymakers and service providers in order to enhance programs and services aimed at increasing employment opportunities for offenders upon reentry into the community.
Prince, K. C. (PI), Sarver, C. (Co-I). Evaluation of the Utah Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) program. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Award number: A02446. Total funds: $103,158. July 2017 – September 2020.
- The Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) is a program that provides highly individualized outpatient treatment to adults who have serious mental illness (SMI) or SMI and co-occurring substance use disorders, are civilly committed in the community, and have demonstrated difficulty adhering to prescribed treatment on a voluntary basis. This project is part of a four-year SAMHSA grant awarded to the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) is providing consultation to DSAMH and program staff, regular reporting on participant demographics and short-term outcomes, and evaluating the impact of the program on treatment, health, housing, and criminal justice outcomes.
Prince, K. C. (PI), Sarver, C. (Co-I). Evaluation of the Utah Supported Employment Transition Program (U-SETP). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Award number: A02425. Total funds: $81,000. July 2017 – September 2019.
- The Utah Supported Employment Transition (U-SETP) program utilizes the evidence-based model of individual placement and support (IPS) to provide supported employment services to adults with serious mental illness (SMI) and co-occurring substance use disorders. This project is part of a three-year SAMHSA grant awarded to the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH). The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) is providing consultation to DSAMH and program staff, regular reporting on participant demographics and short-term outcomes, and evaluating the impact of the program on treatment, health, and criminal justice outcomes.
Prince, K. C. (PI), Walker, A. (Co-I). Evaluation of field-generated innovations in addressing elder abuse and financial exploitation. Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). Award number: 2017-VF-GX-K141. Total funds: $45,000. May 2018 – July 2019.
- In 2017, Utah Legal Services (ULS) was awarded an Office of Crime Victims’ Field-Generated Innovations in Addressing Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation grant. The five objectives of the grant are to: 1) increase reporting of elder abuse and financial exploitation; 2) reduce exploitation of high-risk victims; 3) increase the rate of Adult Protective Services (APS) referrals for prosecution; 4) reduce the danger of remaining in unsafe home environments; and 5) reduce misuse of powers of attorney. Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) research staff are working with program staff to design a variety of pre-post tests and surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of ULS developed educational materials, interventions, and training protocols.
Sarver, C. (PI). Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) program evaluation. Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Award number: A02825. Total Funds: $328,000. April 2019 – December 2023.
- The Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) requires the Utah Department of Human Services/Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DHS/DSAMH) to create and oversee a certification process for all community-based treatment programs, both public and private, that provide services to persons who are court-mandated to behavioral health treatment. This process will ensure that treatment providers are knowledgeable and skilled with respect to the scientific research for reducing recidivism among substance using persons who have been court-mandated to treatment. The objectives of this project are to: 1) provide consultation to DSAMH staff on justice certification; 2) develop and pilot a certification tool that will be administered to provisionally certified treatment providers to determine readiness for final certification; 3) provide technical assistance to programs through the general evidence-based correctional practice (EBCP) module developed and maintained by UCJC; and 4) conduct follow-up program evaluations with Utah’s 13 Local Substance Abuse Authorities.
Sarver, C. (PI). Utah – Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care (U-PIPBHC) program. Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. Award number: A02741. Total Funds: $179,010. April 2019 – December 2023.
- The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) has received funding to implement the Utah – Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care (U-PIPBHC) program through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). DSAMH and provider organizations located in Box Elder, Iron, Utah, and Washington Counties will integrate primary and behavioral health care services using the Intermountain Healthcare Mental Health Integration Care Process Model and Primary Care Behavioral Health Model to address the physical and behavioral health needs of low-income, uninsured residents residing in Box Elder, Iron, Utah, and Washington Counties. The goals of this project are to: 1) determine if services are provided as intended; 2) characterize the type and dosage of services received by clients; and 3) analyze change in outcomes of interest as the result of program participation.
Sarver, C. (PI). A randomized controlled trial of the state of Utah's Pay for Success (PFS) pilot project: The ReSet program. State of Utah, Governor's Office of Management and Budget. Award number: 181917. Total funds: $140,000. October 2017 – September 2020.
- In 2018, the state of Utah began piloting a criminal justice intervention targeting high-risk, high-need male parolees with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illness. The ReSet program was developed by Odyssey House (OH) to provide integrated, comprehensive residential treatment that addresses substance use disorder, mental health, and criminogenic needs. Services are provided using a therapeutic community treatment model in a community-based residential program and specific program components include: evidence-based interventions specifically designed to address criminogenic factors that are tied to recidivism; substance use disorder treatment; employment support through job placement, education, and training; support and case management to meet individual needs through benefits enrollment, health resources, and community engagement; and housing support. The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) was selected as the evaluator on this project and will be conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study to examine the program’s success improving criminal justice, employment, and behavioral health outcomes.
Sarver, C. (PI), Prince, K. C. (Co-I). Evaluation of the Housing Support and Stability (HSSP) Families Project. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Total funds: $300,000. September 2018 – September 2023.
- This project was part of a five-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant that was awarded to The Road Home (TRH) to develop and evaluate the Housing Support and Stability (HSSP) Families Project. The HSSP Families team will assist 150 homeless families with a substance use disorder or co-occurring disorder to stabilize in permanent housing with rapid re-housing (RRH) packages of financial assistance and multidisciplinary wrap-around supports, which will include: case management, behavioral health treatment for parents and children with an emphasis on access to developmentally appropriate services, and a focus on increasing mainstream benefits and employment. The HSSP Families program incorporates rapid re-housing, trauma informed care, motivational interviewing, harm reduction, and critical time intervention in a setting-flexible service delivery model. Objectives include: 1) helping families obtain and stabilize in permanent housing; 2) providing a coordinated approach to accessing mainstream benefits for all family members; 3) facilitating access to employment supports; 4) connecting children to developmentally appropriate supports; and 5) connecting all family members to behavioral health supports, as needed. The Utah Criminal Justice Center (UCJC) will serve as the evaluator on this multi-agency team and will conduct a thorough evaluation of the program to determine the impact of the program on the following outcomes: housing placements and retention; benefits/health insurance enrollment and retention; behavioral health treatment admission and completion; employment type, length, and salary; children’s receipt of services, including type and length; and measures of parent and child well-being. During the final year of the project, UCJC will compare outcomes between HSSP Families participants and a propensity score matched sample of homeless families who are not enrolled in the program.
Tanana, M. J. (Co-I). Technology-supported training and quality assurance for psychosocial interventions. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Award number: R56MH118550. Total funds: $787,097. March 2019 – March 2020.
- This NIMH grant is to explore the feasibility of automating the scoring of the cognitive therapy rating scale (CTRS), a common cognitive behavioral tool (CBT) fidelity tool, using machine learning algorithms.
Tanana, M. J. (PI). Child fatality. Utah Division of Child and Family Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Award number: A02742. Total Funds: $23,994. November 2018 – March 2020.
- With this grant, researchers completed a systematic review of child fatality cases in the state of Utah.
Tanana, M. J. (PI). Technology-supported, measurement-based supervision for motivational interviewing. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Total funds: $1,126,534. July 2018 – December 2020.
- Most evidence-based treatments for substance abuse are in-person psychotherapy and counseling interventions, such as motivational interviewing. There are currently no methods for evaluating the quality of such counseling interventions in the real world to support training, supervision, and quality assurance. Building on an existing prototype, the researchers will enhance and evaluate a cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant clinical support software tool that uses automated speech recognition and machine learning in a community based opioid replacement clinic.
Tanana, M. J. (Co-I). Enhancing evidence-based counseling for opioid abuse via machine learning performance-based feedback. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Award number: R01DA038466. Total funds: $145,660. June 2018 – May 2019.
- In this NIDA funded supplement, the researchers used machine learning algorithms to automate the scoring of a new motivational interviewing fidelity system.
Srikumar, V. (PI), Tanana, M. J. (Co-PI). Technology facilitated training for mental health counseling. National Science Foundation. Award number: 1822877. Total funds: $749,781. August 2018 – July 2020.
- In this project, the researchers will develop and evaluate technological tools that facilitate new models for training tomorrow’s mental health workforce. The team plans to create and study a novel text-based platform with the pedagogical goal of training mental health counselors. Within this platform, they will explore two broad research questions: they will study the pedagogical impact of (a) natural language processing driven helpers that provide feedback in real time, and (b) crowd-sourced counseling using individuals with minimal training. To this end, the researchers will design and train several statistical models that operate within the proposed text-based platform to interact with novice therapists. They will evaluate the efficacy of the two kinds of feedback (automatic and crowd-based) in terms of how well they can train different kinds of trainees (lay support providers in online forums, novice therapists in training) compared to models where the learner practices on their own and/or without specific feedback.
Imel, Z. (PI), Tanana, M. J. (Senior Analyst). Development of computational methods for evaluating doctor-patient communication. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Award number: ME-1602-34167. Total funds: $1,0439,867. March 2017 – December 2019.
- In this grant, researchers used machine learning methodology to characterize different aspects of doctor-patient interactions.
Atkins, D. (PI), Narayanan, S. (PI), Tanana, M. J. (Co-I). Implementation of technology-based evaluation of motivational interviewing. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Award number: R01AA018673-06A1. Total funds: $3,554,426. October 2016 – October 2021.
- Performance-based feedback is an effective method for training and supervising counseling approaches for alcohol-related problems. However, current feedback methods rely on human evaluation of recorded counseling sessions and are not feasible in the real-world due to time and cost. This study will implement a clinical support software tool that uses speech signal processing and computational models – instead of human judgment – to evaluate motivational interviewing for alcohol and substance use problems.
Tanana, M. J. (PI). Broadbent, M. (Co-I). Title IV-E Research. Utah Division of Child and Family Services. Total funds: $1,472,704. April 2013 – March 2022.
- This grant provides research support to the State of Utah’s child welfare system. Researchers engage in quantitative analyses of system databases to help understand the causes and influences over the child welfare system.
Tecle, A. S. (PI), Hunter, R. (Co-PI). Global social work learning communities. Katherine A. Kendal Institute (KAKI), Council on Social Work Education. Total funds: $8,000. August 2018 – August 2021.
- Due to geographic, cultural, and socio economic divides, North American students are often not sufficiently exposed to a global context. Through both face-to-face and online social work education and practice, students will be qualified to capture the nuances and realities of such global conditions that require communication and information across regions and continents. The Global Social Work Learning Communities program is a curriculum project and an innovative teaching method, designed to prepare North American students and students living in refugee camps and displaced communities for global citizenship and international social work practice.
Vogel-Ferguson, M. B. (PI). Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Study. Utah Department of Workforce Services. Total Funds: $2,274,485. Award number: 151532. January 2015 – December 2019.
- This grant will provide research, consultation, and program design assistance to Utah’s Department of Workforce Services in the following areas: family employment program (FEP) case management model development; evaluation of a new case management model; FEP redesign program evaluation; intergenerational poverty; advising and consultation on the design, implementation, and evaluation of policies and programs servicing TANF needy families; providing regular updates to the department's managers, as well as frontline workers as requested by the department; and provide summaries of relevant research findings that may guide the department's strategic planning efforts.
Kafadar, K. (PI), Yaffe, J. (Co-PI), Garrett, B., Dodson, C. Understanding and improving effectiveness of eyewitness identification procedures. Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Award number: GF13635.153569. Total project budget $1,369.931. Utah share: $227,490. December 2016 – December 2020.
- Eyewitnesses provide important information to police in criminal cases. However, eyewitnesses can be mistaken, resulting in erroneous convictions and failure to identify real perpetrators. Scientific evidence about the causes of eyewitness misidentification is characterized by gaps, incomplete synthesis, and insufficiently sophisticated analytic techniques to examine interactions between variables. This team’s interdisciplinary research stretches across three universities and four disciplines: law at Duke University, statistics and cognitive psychology at the University of Virginia, and social work at the University of Utah. Together, the researchers are mapping and evaluating existing research in eyewitness identification, conducting new research on eyewitness memory and jury decision-making, and conducting cutting edge statistical analyses. They work with an advisory board of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and police professionals to ensure that the research remains relevant.
Other Funded Projects
Keeshin, B. (PI), Byrne, K. (Evaluator). University of Utah Psychotropic Medication Oversight. Utah Department of Health. Funding Amount: $1,935,230. July 2019 – June 2024.
- The purpose of the Utah Psychotropic Oversight Program (UPOP) is to improve the well-being of children and adolescents in foster care receiving psychiatric treatment, by promoting safe, evidence-based, trauma-informed treatment, consistent with their mental health needs. UPOP’s mission and goal is to establish and operate a psychotropic medication oversight program by collaborating and consulting with DCFS caseworkers, Fostering Healthy Children health coordinators, community mental health professionals, and providers throughout the state.
Wheatley, M., Castillo, J. Utah State Legislature. (2018). University of Utah recovery-ready community (Recover at the U). 2018 General session: General Fund, Education Fund, and Select Other Services. Higher Education. Funding Amount: $100,000 (annually, ongoing).
- In 2018, working closely with Representative Mark Wheatley and personnel with Community Solutions Consulting, undergraduate and graduate students affiliated with Recover @ the U (student organization) were able to testify in front of the Utah State Legislature (i.e., Higher Education Appropriations Committee), informing them of challenges and problems associated with alcohol and drug issues on college campuses nationwide (including the University of Utah) and strategies to combat these issues. Established in 2015, Recover @ the U is a student-led, peer-recovery group intended to provide assistance and support to students who are in recovery and/or managing their sobriety. In previous years, Recover @ the U has hosted/conducted numerous psycho-social education support groups, community outreach and awareness workshops, and sober social events. With the ongoing funds received from the Utah State Legislature, Recover @ the U has secured both a physical space and a full-time staff member, which will help the program to expand its services and further assist and support the population.
Frost, C. J. (PI), Gren, L. H. Community advocacy group evaluation and Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD) data analysis. SLCPD Contract. Total funds: $40,000. October 2018 – October 2019.
- The purpose of this project is to conduct a needs assessment and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis with the Community Advocacy Group and analyze data on officer disbursement and crime density.
Hunter, R. (PI), Tecle, A. S. (PI), and Kagabo, R. Global learning across the disciplines: Developing social work curriculum for the global context. University of Utah. Total funds: $10,000. January 2018 – December 2019.
- This project will review and enrich the undergraduate social work required curriculum to meet international social work standards and the Intercultural Knowledge and Competence Value Rubric. The methods used for creating a more inclusive curriculum that is program wide and multi-level, includes: a curriculum audit, integration of global content, faculty and field instructor workshops, and the development of assessment strategies to establish the degree to which students are realizing global contexts, knowledge and skills.
Sorensen, S. (PI), Dubrasky, D. (Co-PI), Corser, G. (Co-PI). The Advancement of an Inter-professional Co-facilitative Poetry Therapy Curriculum for Groups. International Association of Social Work with Groups. Total funds: $480. December 2018 – December 2019.
- The researchers designed an innovative curriculum and approach to poetry therapy in groups titled "Discovering Inner Strengths: A Co-facilitative Poetry Therapy Curriculum for Groups," published in the Journal of Poetry Therapy, March, 2019. This approach is comprised of a licensed therapist and a professional poet using their expertise to co-facilitate strengths-based group therapy based on Dr. Nick Mazza's poetry therapy modes. They utilized this curriculum for women's groups, at-risk youth, and student veterans. The project involved training therapists and professional poets to implement this curriculum in rural and urban communities of the Intermountain West. Participants in this three-hour workshop were trained to utilize the curriculum through experiential writing exercises and role-playing of co-facilitative responsibilities in the group setting. One of the ultimate goals is to create enough awareness and understanding of IASWG to create a chapter in the Intermountain West.