B Christopher Frueh

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Hilo, Hawaii, United States

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Publications (218)542.02 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The authors previously demonstrated an 82.3% reduction in seclusion and restraint use at an inpatient psychiatric facility, largely attributable to changes to the physical environment. This study investigated whether the reduction was sustained over time.
    Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) 07/2014; · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patient satisfaction is increasingly used as an indicator of health care quality. Few measures are available to assess characteristics unique to inpatient psychiatric hospitals, especially those that provide longer-term care. Furthermore, there is limited guidance on how to utilize patient satisfaction data to guide quality improvement initiatives. The authors developed the 20-item, Menninger Quality of Care measure at The Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas. Psychometric analyses were based on responses from 337 adult inpatients. The measure has excellent internal reliability (Cronbach α = 0.92) with adequate concurrent and construct validity. We present a methodology to identify targeted quality improvement efforts by (1) highlighting the perspective of patients who are generally satisfied but had at least some reservations regarding the care they received and (2) highlighting areas of concern that are most associated with overall quality of care. We discuss our findings in light of national health care quality trends.
    Quality management in health care 07/2014; 23(3):178-187.
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the psychometric properties and clinical utility of the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) among adult clinical inpatients, a group at high risk for major depressive disorder (MDD). Data from 1,904 adult inpatients were analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), Cronbach's alpha, and Pearson's correlations. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses evaluating MDD diagnostic performance were conducted with a subsample (n = 467) using a structured diagnostic interview for reference. CFA of 3 previous 2-factor oblique solutions, observed in adolescent and older adult inpatient clinical samples, and 3 corresponding bifactor solutions indicated that BDI-II common item variance was overwhelmingly accounted for by 1 general factor specified to all items, with minor additional variance contributed by 2 specific factors. Analyses revealed high internal consistency (Cronbach's α = .93) and significant (p < .01) intercorrelations between the BDI-II total scale and Behavior and Symptom Identification Scale-24's Depression/Functioning (r = .79) and Overall (r = .82) subscales. ROC analyses generated low area under the curve (.695; 95% confidence interval [.637, .752]) and cutoff scores with poor sensitivity/specificity balance. BDI-II use as a screening instrument for overall depressive symptomology was supported, but MDD diagnostic performance was suboptimal. Clinicians are advised to use the BDI-II to gauge severity of depression and measure clinical changes to depressive symptomology over time but to be mindful of the limitations of the BDI-II as a diagnostic tool for adult inpatients. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Psychological assessment. 06/2014;
  • Nancy Wolff, Jessica Huening, Jing Shi, B Christopher Frueh
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    ABSTRACT: Trauma exposure and trauma-related symptoms are prevalent among incarcerated men, suggesting a need for behavioral health intervention. A random sample of adult males (N = 592) residing in a single high-security prison were screened for trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Trauma was a universal experience among incarcerated men. Rates of current PTSD symptoms and lifetime PTSD were significantly higher (30 to 60 %) than rates found in the general male populations (3 to 6 %). Lifetime rates of trauma and PTSD were associated with psychiatric disorders. This study suggests the need for a gender-sensitive response to trauma among incarcerated men with modification for comorbid mental disorders and type of trauma exposure. Developing gender-sensitive trauma interventions for incarcerated men and testing them is necessary to improve the behavioral health outcomes of incarcerated men who disproportionately return to urban communities.
    Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: To compare clinical and process outcomes of cognitive processing therapy-cognitive only version (CPT-C) delivered via videoteleconferencing (VTC) to in-person in a rural, ethnically diverse sample of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
    The Journal of clinical psychiatry. 05/2014; 75(5):470-476.
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    ABSTRACT: Objective This study investigated predictors of therapeutic outcomes for veterans who received treatment for dysregulated anger.Method Data are from a randomized controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of video teleconferencing compared to in-person delivery of anger management therapy (AMT) among 125 military veterans. Multilevel modeling was used to assess 2 types of predictors (demographic characteristics and mental health factors) of changes in anger symptoms after treatment.ResultsResults showed that while veterans benefited similarly from treatment across modalities, veterans who received two or more additional mental health services and who had longer commutes to care showed the greatest improvement on a composite measure of self-reported anger symptoms.Conclusion Results highlight that veterans with a range of psychosocial and mental health characteristics benefited from AMT, while those receiving the most additional concurrent mental health services had better outcomes.
    Journal of Clinical Psychology 04/2014; · 2.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gender differences in prevalence rates of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) may reflect true differences between groups or may reflect some form of gender bias in diagnostic criteria. The detection of differential item functioning (DIF) using item response theory methods provides a powerful method of evaluating whether gender differences in prevalence rates of BPD reflect true mean differences or criterion bias. The aim of the current study was to evaluate gender-based DIF in DSM BPD criteria. The Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) Axis II Personality Disorders (SCID-II: First, Spitzer, Gibbon, Williams, & Benjamin, 1994) was administered to 747 adult inpatients. Results indicated DIF for 2 BPD criteria (impulsivity and uncontrolled anger), such that it was easier for these items to be endorsed for men compared with women at the same level of latent trait. At the level of the test, men were expected to be rated slightly higher than women on the SCID-II at the same level of latent BPD liability. Implications of these results for research and clinical assessment are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Abnormal Psychology 02/2014; 123(1):231-6. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated potential mechanisms of action for anger symptom reductions, specifically, the roles of anger regulation skills and therapeutic alliance on changes in anger symptoms, following group Anger Management Treatment (AMT) among combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Data were drawn from a published randomized controlled trial of AMT conducted with a racially diverse group of 109 veterans with PTSD and anger symptoms residing in Hawaii. Results of latent growth curve models indicated that gains in calming skills predicted significantly larger reductions in anger symptoms at post-treatment, while the development of cognitive coping and behavioral control skills did not predict greater symptom reductions. Therapeutic alliance had indirect effects on all outcomes mostly via arousal calming skills. Results suggest that generalized symptom reduction may be mediated by development of skills in calming physiological arousal. In addition, arousal reduction skills appeared to enhance one's ability to employ other anger regulation skills.
    Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Persons admitted for inpatient psychiatric care often present with interpersonal difficulties that disrupt adaptive social relations and complicate the provision of treatment. Whereas domains of psychosocial functioning in this population demonstrate clear growth in response to intervention, the impact of treatment on more complex patterns of interpersonal behavior has been largely overlooked within the existing literature. Interpersonal profiles characteristic of psychiatric inpatients were identified in the current study to determine rates of transition to adaptive functioning following hospitalization. Methods: Personality disturbance was assessed in 513 psychiatric inpatients using the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems. Scores were analyzed within a series of latent profile models to isolate unique interpersonal profiles at admission and at discharge. Longitudinal modeling was then employed to determine rates of transition from dysfunctional to adaptive profiles. Relationships with background characteristics, clinical presentation, and treatment response were explored. Results: Normative, Submissive, and Hostile/Withdrawn profiles emerged at both admission and discharge. Patients in the Normative profile demonstrated relatively moderate symptoms. Submissive and Hostile/Withdrawn profiles were related to known risk factors and elevated psychopathology. Approximately half of the patients who had been identified as Submissive or Hostile/Withdrawn transitioned to the Normative profile by discharge. Transition status evidenced modest associations with background characteristics and clinical presentation. Treatment engagement and reduction of clinical symptoms were strongly associated with adaptive transition. Conclusion: Maladaptive interpersonal profiles characteristic of psychiatric inpatients demonstrated categorical change following inpatient hospitalization. Enhanced therapeutic engagement and overall reductions in psychiatric symptoms appear to increase potential for interpersonal change.
    Psychiatry. 01/2014; 77(3):247-262.
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    ABSTRACT: Adults with serious mental illness (SMI) experience criminal victimization at rates higher than the general population whether they reside in the community or correctional settings. This study examines the past-six month prevalence and correlates of criminal victimization among a large community sample (N = 2,209) of consumers with SMI newly admitted to outpatient mental health services during 2005 through 2008. A cross-sectional design was used with self-report and clinical data collected from administrative records. Victimization was determined by responses to direct questions about experiences in the previous 6 months with respect to victimization of a non-violent and/or violent crime. Socio-demographic, clinical and criminal correlates of victimization were abstracted from a quality of life survey and clinical assessment interview conducted at admission. Overall, 25.4 % of consumers reported being a victim of any crime (violent or non-violent) in the past 6 months, with 20.3 % reporting non-violent and 12.3 % violent victimization. The risk of victimization was elevated for those who were female, White, not taking atypical psychotropic medication, not feeling safe in their living arrangement, and were arrested or homeless in the six-months prior to engaging in mental health outpatient treatment. Policy and practice implications of these findings are discussed.
    Community Mental Health Journal 12/2013; · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study sought to gain a better understanding of cyber bullying (i.e., the use of information technologies to inflict harm on another person) by examining its prevalence, its relationship with traditional bullying, and the relationship between bullying, anxiety, and depression in a sample of rural and ethnoracially diverse youth (N = 211; ages 10–13). Thirty-three percent of participants reported being victims of traditional bullying and 9 % reported perpetrating traditional bullying behavior. Seven percent of participants were victims of cyber bullying, 4 % reported that they participated in cyber bully behavior, and 2 % were both of victims and perpetrators of cyber bullying. Bullying victims reported significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression compared with non-victims and bullies endorsed significant anxiety and depression. Results suggest that while cyber bullying does occur in rural communities, it often co-occurs with traditional bullying. Additionally, a novel cyber bullying measure was developed and utilized, and information regarding its reliability and validity is included.
    School Mental Health 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Existing literature indicates significant comorbidity between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression. We examined whether PTSD's dysphoria and mood/cognitions factors, conceptualized by the empirically supported four-factor DSM-5 PTSD models, account for PTSD's inherent relationship with depression. We hypothesized that depression's somatic and non-somatic factors would be more related to PTSD's dysphoria and mood/cognitions factors than other PTSD model factors. Further, we hypothesized that PTSD's arousal would significantly mediate relations between PTSD's dysphoria and somatic/non-somatic depression. Using 181 trauma-exposed primary care patients, confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) indicated a well-fitting DSM-5 PTSD dysphoria model, DSM-5 numbing model and two-factor depression model. Both somatic and non-somatic depression factors were more related to PTSD's dysphoria and mood/cognitions factors than to re-experiencing and avoidance factors; non-somatic depression was more related to PTSD's dysphoria than PTSD's arousal factor. PTSD's arousal did not mediate the relationship between PTSD's dysphoria and somatic/non-somatic depression. Implications are discussed.
    Psychiatry research. 10/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: A systematic review of trauma treatment outcome literature was conducted to determine the impact of treatment on comorbid panic symptoms. Major databases were searched (from 1989 to 2013) and 64 randomized controlled trials using cognitive behavioral approaches to treat acute stress disorder, subthreshold posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and full PTSD met inclusion criteria for this review. Results showed that 41% of the studies reviewed did not assess for Axis I psychiatric comorbidity at any point during the course of treatment. Only 5% of the studies reviewed reported rates of comorbid panic disorder (PD) at more than one time point during the study. Results indicate that approximately 56% of people no longer meet PD criteria following PTSD treatment.
    Clinical Psychology Science and Practice 09/2013; 20(3). · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The psychiatric sequelae associated with childhood experience(s) of trauma is complex and distinguishable from that of adult trauma exposure. Categories of impairment associated with experiences of early trauma include internalizing and externalizing emotional and behavioral problems, posttraumatic stress symptomatology, and dissociation. The present study assessed the relationship between the type of trauma experience (i.e., non-interpersonal or interpersonal) and the manifestation of a wide range of psychiatric symptomatology using prospective longitudinal data from a community sample of ethnically diverse children and adolescents (N=1676; ages 4-18). The study also examined the relationship between different types of trauma experiences (e.g., direct, vicarious, interpersonal) and levels of various symptom domains (e.g., anxiety, posttraumatic stress, conduct problems). A number of factors relevant to the relationship between early trauma experience and subsequent impairment including temperament, socioeconomic status, sex, and age were included in the analyses. Results indicated that interpersonal traumas involving significant interpersonal proximity were associated with externalizing problems (i.e., oppositional defiant and conduct problems). Direct trauma experiences and emotionality were positively associated with almost all symptom domains. Implications for the relationship between trauma and developmental psychopathology are discussed.
    Journal of anxiety disorders 08/2013; 27(7):652-660. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: Although effective psychotherapies for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) exist, high percentages of Veterans in need of services are unable to access them. One particular challenge to providing cost-effective psychological treatments to Veterans with PTSD involves the difficulty and high cost of delivering in-person, specialized psychotherapy to Veterans residing in geographically remote locations. The delivery of these services via clinical videoteleconferencing (CVT) has been presented as a potential solution to this access to care problem. Materials and Methods: This study is a retrospective cost analysis of a randomized controlled trial investigating telemedicine service delivery of an anger management therapy for Veterans with PTSD. The parent trial found that the CVT condition provided clinical results that were comparable to the in-person condition. Several cost outcomes were calculated in order to investigate the clinical and cost outcomes associated with the CVT delivery modality relative to in-person delivery. Results: The CVT condition was significantly associated with lower total costs compared with the in-person delivery condition. The delivery of mental health services via CVT enables Veterans who would not normally receive these services access to empirically based treatments. Additional studies addressing long-term healthcare system costs, indirect cost factors at the patient and societal levels, and the use of CVT in other geographic regions of the United States are needed. Conclusions: The results of this study provide evidence that CVT is a cost-reducing mode of service delivery to Veterans with PTSD relative to in-person delivery.
    Telemedicine and e-Health 08/2013; · 1.40 Impact Factor
  • Richard J McNally, B Christopher Frueh
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    ABSTRACT: The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced historically low rates of fatalities, injuries, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among U.S. combatants. Yet they have also produced historically unprecedented rates of PTSD disability compensation seeking from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The purpose of this article is to consider hypotheses that might potentially resolve this paradox, including high rates of PTSD, delayed onset PTSD, malingered PTSD, and economic variables.
    Journal of anxiety disorders 07/2013; 27(5):520-526. · 2.68 Impact Factor
  • Jon G Allen, J Christopher Fowler, B Christopher Frueh
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    ABSTRACT: The Behavior and Symptom Identification Scale (BASIS-24) was administered to 1972 patients in a private psychiatric hospital specializing in intensive treatment of several weeks' duration. The study was designed to investigate the factor structure in a large inpatient population with a high burden of psychiatric illness. While largely replicating previous factor analyses, the study unexpectedly yielded two factors from the items comprising the interpersonal relationships factor, which were interpreted as assessing sociability and attachment. These two new factors showed differential relationships with other measures of interpersonal functioning (Inventory of Interpersonal Problems) and attachment (Relationship Questionnaire), and both factors were sensitive to improvement over the course of intensive inpatient treatment. These results suggest that different treatment interventions might be employed to target these two separable domains of potentially problematic interpersonal functioning.
    Comprehensive psychiatry 07/2013; · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a highly prevalent distressing condition for individuals in both community and community primary care settings. However, despite the high prevalence of GAD identified in epidemiological studies, little is known about GAD and its related symptoms and impairments in veteran populations. The present study investigated the prevalence, comorbidity, physical and mental health impairment, and healthcare utilization of veteran participants with GAD, as well as comparing symptoms of GAD and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Veterans (N=884) participated in a cross-sectional investigation in primary care clinics in four Veteran Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) and completed diagnostic interviews and self-report questionnaires; a chart review was conducted to assess their VAMC healthcare utilization. A large number of participants (12%) met diagnostic criteria for GAD, reporting significantly worse emotional health, pain, and general health, in addition to increased mental healthcare utilization and antidepressant medications. In addition, GAD was found in 40% of participants with PTSD, resulting in more severe symptoms and impairment than in patients with GAD alone. These findings provide evidence of high prevalence and severe impairment associated with GAD in veterans and highlight the need for improved recognition, assessment, and treatments for GAD.
    Psychiatry research. 05/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Changes in the parameters of inpatient psychiatric care have inspired a sizable literature exploring correlates of prolonged intervention as well as symptom change over varying lengths of hospitalization. However, existing data offer limited insight regarding the nature of symptom change over time. Objectives of this longitudinal research were to (1) model the trajectory of depressive symptoms within an inpatient psychiatric sample, (2) identify characteristics associated with unique patterns of change, and (3) evaluate the magnitude of expected gains using objective clinical benchmarks. Participants included 1,084 psychiatric inpatients treated between April 2008 and December 2010. Latent growth curve modeling was used to determine the trajectory of Beck Depression Inventory II depressive symptoms in response to treatment. Age, gender, trauma history, prior hospitalization, and DSM-IV diagnoses were examined as potential moderators of recovery. Results indicate a nonlinear model of recovery, with symptom reductions greatest following admission and slowing gradually over time. Female gender, probable trauma exposure, prior psychiatric hospitalization, and primary depressive diagnosis were associated with more severe trajectories. Diagnosis of alcohol/substance use, by contrast, was associated with more moderate trajectories. Objective benchmarks occurred relatively consistently across patient groups, with clinically significant change occurring between 2-4 weeks after admission. The nonlinear trajectory of recovery observed in these data provides insight regarding the dynamics of inpatient recovery. Across all patient groups, symptom reduction was most dramatic in the initial week of hospitalization. However, notable improvement continued for several weeks after admission. Results suggest that timelines for adequate inpatient care are largely contingent on program-specific goals.
    The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 05/2013; 74(5):492-9. · 5.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) are presenting with high rates of co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical presentations of combat-veterans with PTSD and TBI (N=40) to those with PTSD only (N=56). Results suggest that the groups present two distinct clinical profiles, with the PTSD+TBI group endorsing significantly higher PTSD scores, higher overall anxiety, and more functional limitations. The higher PTSD scores found for the PTSD+TBI group appeared to be due to higher symptom intensity, but not higher frequency, across PTSD clusters and symptoms. Groups did not differ on additional psychopathology or self-report of PTSD symptoms or executive functioning. Further analysis indicated PTSD severity, and not TBI, was responsible for group differences, suggesting that treatments implicated for PTSD would likely be effective for this population.
    Journal of anxiety disorders 04/2013; · 2.68 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
542.02 Total Impact Points


  • 2007–2014
    • University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
      • Department of Psychology
      Hilo, Hawaii, United States
  • 2013
    • The Menninger Clinic, Inc.
      United States
    • National Center for PTSD
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2012–2013
    • Harvard University
      • Department of Psychology
      Cambridge, MA, United States
    • University of Melbourne
      • Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2010–2013
    • University of Toledo
      • Department of Psychology
      Toledo, OH, United States
    • Overton Brooks VA Medical Center
      Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
  • 2008–2013
    • Baylor College of Medicine
      Houston, Texas, United States
    • University of Washington Seattle
      Seattle, Washington, United States
    • University of Georgia
      • Department of Psychology
      Athens, GA, United States
  • 2004–2013
    • University of Wyoming
      • Department of Psychology
      Laramie, WY, United States
  • 1994–2013
    • Medical University of South Carolina
      • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
      Charleston, SC, United States
  • 2007–2012
    • University of Hawai'i System
      Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
  • 2011
    • University of New Mexico
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Albuquerque, NM, United States
  • 2008–2011
    • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2003–2011
    • University of South Dakota
      • Department of Psychology
      Vermillion, South Dakota, United States
    • Nova Southeastern University
      • Center for Psychological Studies
      Florida, NY, United States
    • New York State
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2009–2010
    • UConn Health Center
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Farmington, CT, United States
    • Murdoch University
      Perth City, Western Australia, Australia
  • 2006–2007
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research
      Chapel Hill, NC, United States
    • George Mason University
      • Department of Psychology
      Fairfax, VA, United States
  • 2005
    • Westat
      Maryland, United States
  • 2001–2005
    • University of Maryland, College Park
      • Department of Psychology
      College Park, MD, United States
  • 2000
    • University of Pennsylvania
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    • South Carolina Department of Mental Health
      Columbia, South Carolina, United States
  • 1997
    • State University of New York
      New York City, New York, United States