Leopoldo J Cabassa's research while affiliated with Saint Louis University and other places

Publications (129)

Article
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Over the past two decades, there has been increased recognition of the effectiveness of peer delivered services, with prior research highlighting the benefits for both recipients of peer services and peer providers. Despite this, peer specialists report challenges to their work such as experiencing stigma associated with their role and difficulty i...
Article
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OnTrackNY provides early intervention services to young people with early psychosis throughout New York State. This report describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on community participation of OnTrackNY program participants and their families. Thirteen participants and nine family members participated in five focus groups and three individual...
Article
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Background In 2005, Chile became the first country in Latin America to guarantee universal free access for the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia. A cluster randomized control trial utilizing the Dynamic Adaptation Process framework is underway to adapt and test the OnTrack coordinated specialty care model to provide recovery-oriented, person...
Article
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Rates of food insecurity are high among adults with serious mental illness (SMI); this population also engages in less physical activity than the general population. However, the relationship between food insecurity and physical activity in this group has not been explored. We examined food insecurity prevalence and its association with physical ac...
Presentation
Mobile health (mHealth) applications using patient questionnaires to gather real-time information have been used extensively in psychosis research. However, their use in treatment has been limited, with few studies aiming to enhance integration of mHealth data into “real world” clinical settings. This qualitative study solicited service providers’...
Article
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Background Substantial data from high-income countries support early interventions in the form of evidence-based Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) for people experiencing First Episode Psychosis (FEP) to ameliorate symptoms and minimize disability. Chile is unique among Latin American countries in providing universal access to FEP services through a...
Preprint
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Mobile health (mHealth) technologies have been used extensively in psychosis research. In contrast, their integration into clinical care has been sparse, despite substantial increase in the availability of smartphone-based apps targeting mental health care. One potential reason is that few of these apps have been developed with input fro...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Mobile health (mHealth) technologies have been used extensively in psychosis research. In contrast, their integration into real-world clinical care has been limited despite the broad availability of smartphone-based apps targeting mental health care. Most apps developed for treatment of individuals with psychosis have focused primarily...
Article
Objective The study sought to determine whether reporting a history of depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, drug or alcohol use disorder, ADHD, schizophrenia, or current depressive symptoms was associated with requesting help for any of 12 social needs. Methods A community-based sample of 1,944 low-income adult smokers in Missouri who had...
Article
Purpose: Healthy lifestyle interventions can improve the health of people with serious mental illness (SMI). Little is known whether demographic variables moderate the effectiveness of these interventions on health outcomes. Method: Data from an effectiveness trial of a peer-led healthy lifestyle intervention (PGLB) for people with SMI examine whet...
Article
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Healthy lifestyle interventions can improve the physical health of people with serious mental illness (SMI; e.g., schizophrenia). Yet, people with SMI report challenges participating in these interventions, thus limiting their potential benefits. This study examined attendance of participants (N = 155), largely comprised of racial and ethnic minori...
Article
People with serious mental illness (SMI; e.g. schizophrenia) have mortality rates two to three times higher than the general population, largely due to a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Healthy lifestyle interventions can improve the health of people with SMI, but information about why these interventions work for some and not ot...
Article
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Background We report the primary outcomes from a randomized clinical trial testing a novel culturally-adapted patient education intervention to increase engagement of Hispanic patients in depression treatment. The Depression Education Fotonovela (DEF), Secret Feelings , incorporates popular images, cultural norms, and vivid pictures embedded within...
Presentation
Mobile health (mHealth) applications using patient questionnaires to gather real-time information have been used extensively in psychosis research. However, their use in treatment has been limited, with few studies aiming to enhance integration of mHealth data into “real world” clinical settings. This qualitative study solicited service providers’...
Article
Latinos/as in the United States (U.S.), face persistent mental health care disparities, even after adjusting for education, health insurance, and socioeconomic factors. While there has been increased attention on mental health stigma and mental health literacy, no systematic literature review currently exists of interventions developed to reduce me...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background We report the primary outcomes from a randomized clinical trial testing a novel culturally-adapted patient education intervention to increase engagement of Hispanic patients in depression treatment. The Depression Education Fotonovela (DEF), Secret Feelings, incorporates popular images, cultural norms, and vivid pictures embedded within...
Article
Objective: Tobacco smoking is a major driver of premature mortality in people with serious mental illness (SMI; e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder). This systematic literature review described randomized control trials of psychosocial smoking cessation interventions for people with SMI, rated their methodological rigor, evaluated the inclusion...
Article
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Background Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) programs provide evidence-based services for young people with a recent onset of a psychotic disorder. OnTrackNY is a nationally recognized model of CSC treatment in New York state. In 2019, OnTrackNY was awarded a hub within the Early Psychosis Intervention Network (EPINET) to advance its learning health...
Article
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While many measures of mental illness stigma have been developed, few have been validated in Hispanic populations. This study examined the psychometric properties of three stigma measures (Stigma Concerns about Mental Health Care [SCMHC], Social Distance Scale [SDS], and Latino Scale for Antidepressant Stigma [LSAS]) among a depressed, Hispanic sam...
Article
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Individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) face significant health disparities and multiple barriers to engaging in health behavior change. To reduce these health disparities, it is necessary to enhance the support individuals with SMI receive through the collaboration of different healthcare providers. This study explored how people with SMI li...
Article
Full-text available
Background : Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) programs provide evidence-based services for young people with a recent onset of a psychotic disorder. OnTrackNY is a nationally recognized model of CSC treatment in New York state. In 2019, OnTrackNY was awarded a hub within the Early Psychosis Intervention Network (EPINET) to advance its learning heal...
Article
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Cognitive remediation (CR) is an evidence-based therapy used to improve cognition in people with schizophrenia. However, it often requires multiple in-person clinic sessions per week, which can limit scalability. This mixed methods study considered the feasibility and acceptability of a hybrid approach, which allowed for half the sessions to be con...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Substantial data from high-income countries support early interventions in the form of evidence-based Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) for people experiencing First Episode Psychosis (FEP) to ameliorate symptoms and minimize disability. Chile is unique among Latin American countries in providing universal access to FEP services through...
Article
As peer-delivered services are increasingly embedded within behavioral health organizations, a need has arisen to identify practices that facilitate supervision and support of peer providers. The authors present supervision strategies and lessons learned that emerged during a large pragmatic trial in three supportive housing agencies that examined...
Article
Objective: This study explored the experiences of individuals with serious mental illness who were predominantly Black, were living in supportive housing, and participated in the Peer-Led Group Lifestyle Balance (PGLB) intervention. The authors examined how participants engaged in the process of behavior change and applied intervention concepts....
Article
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Background Contingency management (CM) is an intervention where incentives are provided in exchange for a biochemically confirmed alcohol abstinence. CM is effective at initiating alcohol abstinence, but it is less effective at maintaining long-term abstinence. Phosphatidylethanol (PEth), collected via a finger-stick, can detect alcohol use for 14–...
Article
The coronavirus disease 2019 SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) crisis and subsequent social distancing recommendations resulted in increased use of telehealth within recovery-oriented behavior health services (RS). Populations with serious mental illness (SMI) rely on psychosocial treatment, care coordination, and pharmacotherapy to achieve recovery goals and...
Article
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Public health surveillance surveys provide key data from which the U.S. population health estimates are derived. We conducted a systematic review of the contemporary scientific literature on prevalent Latina/o child and adult health outcomes to determine the proportion of peer-reviewed articles derived from national or state U.S. public health surv...
Article
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People diagnosed with serious mental illness (SMI) experience significant health disparities, including high rates of premature mortality. Supportive housing may serve as a critical service setting for addressing physical health, but comprehensive health-related services within these programs remain an exception. This study sought to identify barri...
Article
Objective: The effectiveness of the Peer-led Group Lifestyle Balance (PGLB) intervention, a 12-month manualized healthy lifestyle intervention delivered by peer specialists, was investigated in a sample of persons with serious mental illness who were overweight or obese and living in supportive housing. Methods: The authors randomly assigned 314...
Article
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Cardiovascular disease is a primary contributor to premature death among people with serious mental illness (SMI). This study used baseline data (N=314) from an effectiveness trial testing a healthy lifestyle intervention for racial/ethnically diverse participants with overweight/obesity and SMI living in supportive housing. We examined the prevale...
Article
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The National Alliance on Mental Illness’s Homefront program is a 6-week peer-taught program for family members of veterans and active duty soldiers. Homefront is associated with increased empowerment, coping, and knowledge, but little is known about member experiences. This study used telephone interviews to identify program components that are hel...
Article
Healthy lifestyle interventions that increase physical activity and healthy dietary habits can help improve the physical health of people with serious mental illness (SMI). Yet, these interventions are not implemented in routine practice settings. This mixed methods study examined the decisions that leaders from three supportive housing agencies ma...
Article
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Objectives Screening instruments can be powerful tools in assisting primary care providers with detecting depression in their patients and monitoring treatment response. Health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities result from inaccurate assessment in primary care. Methods The current study used baseline data from two federally funded res...
Article
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We examined demographic, health, and mental health correlates of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in racially and ethnically diverse people with serious mental illness (SMI) living in supportive housing. We used baseline data from 314 people with SMI enrolled in a randomized effectiveness trial of a peer-led healthy lifestyle i...
Article
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Introduction Despite the proven effectiveness of coordinated specialty care (CSC) programmes for first episode psychosis in the USA, CSC programmes often have low levels of engagement in family psychoeducation, and engagement of racial and ethnic minority family members is even lower than that for non-Latino white family members. The goal of this s...
Preprint
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Background: Given indications of widening disparities in mortality for people with serious mental illness, understanding and reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and improving health-related quality of life is an urgent public health priority. This study examined CVD risk factor clustering, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and...
Article
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Background People with SMI have often been excluded in advocacy efforts focused on physical health, health care and health and social policy. Objective Following a Photovoice project focused on barriers to healthy eating and physical activity in urban neighbourhoods, participant‐researchers were invited to present their insights in community advoc...
Article
Objective: Therapeutic benefits associated with early services for psychosis are influenced by the degree to which participants engage in treatment. The main objective of this review was to analyze rates of disengagement in early psychosis services and identify predictors of disengagement in these settings. Methods: A systematic search for studi...
Article
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Background Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a primary contributor to premature death among people with serious mental illness (SMI). This study examined the prevalence and correlates of the American Heart Association (AHA) metric of ideal cardiovascular health (ICVH) in racially and ethnically diverse people with serious mental illness living in sup...
Article
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Worldwide, early intervention services for young people with recent-onset psychosis have been associated with improvements in outcomes, including reductions in hospitalization, symptoms, and improvements in treatment engagement and work/school participation. States have received federal mental health block grant funding to implement team-based, mul...
Article
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Background: Research has generated valuable knowledge in identifying, understanding, and intervening to address inequities in the delivery of healthcare, yet these inequities persist. The best available interventions, programs and policies designed to address inequities in healthcare are not being adopted in routine practice settings. Implementati...
Article
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Stigma is one of the main barriers to the full implementation of mental health services in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). Many initiatives to reduce stigma have been launched in those settings recently, nevertheless, it remains largely unknown to what extent these interventions are effective and culturally sensitive. The present review ad...
Article
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Background: Low use of anti-depressant medication, poor doctor-patient communication, and persistent stigma are key barriers to the treatment of depression in Hispanics. Common concerns include fears about the addictive and harmful properties of antidepressants, worries about taking too many pills, and the stigma attached to taking medications and...
Article
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“Shared experience” has been described as a key element of peer-delivered services, but it is not well-understood how it is used in practice, particularly among peer specialists working in more conventional mental health agencies. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with eight peer specialists and two supervisors working in a Peer Wellne...
Article
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This qualitative study explored peer specialists’ contributions to a healthy lifestyle intervention for obese/overweight individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) living in supportive housing. Intervention participants, peer specialists, and supervisors were interviewed and a grounded model emerged from the data identifying essential interperso...
Article
Background We seek to examine racial and ethnic differences in service utilization among participants enrolled in the Recovery After An Initial Schizophrenia Episode – Early Treatment Program (RAISE-ETP), a coordinated specialty care program for first-episode psychosis. We will also explore the association between service utilization and treatment...
Article
Background Obesity and related conditions (e.g., type-2 diabetes) disproportionately impact people with serious mental illness (SMI) compared to the general population. Healthy lifestyle interventions that improve dietary habits and increase physical activity can help address these health disparities in people with SMI. Yet few studies have examine...
Article
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Background: People with mental illness in the United States are almost twice as likely to be obese compared with those without a mental illness. Lifestyle factors, such as poor dietary choices and physical inactivity, are often cited as causes of obesity in this population, which limits the response to the obesity epidemic primarily to behavioral...
Article
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Background: People with mental illness in the United States are almost twice as likely to be obese compared with those without a mental illness. Lifestyle factors, such as poor dietary choices and physical inactivity, are often cited as causes of obesity in this population, which limits the response to the obesity epidemic primarily to behavioral c...
Article
Latinos with serious mental illness (SMI) experience health and health care disparities and may benefit from interventions that improve access to, coordination of, and receipt of primary care services. The aim of this qualitative study was to examine the experiences of Latinos with SMI and at risk for cardiovascular disease participating in Bridges...
Article
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Objective: This study examined racial and ethnic differences in treatment outcomes among participants in a randomized controlled trial of an intervention for first-episode psychosis called NAVIGATE. Methods: Secondary data analyses were conducted for participants randomly assigned to usual community care (N=181) and NAVIGATE (N=223). Generalized...
Article
People with serious mental illness die at an earlier age than people in the general population largely due to cardiovascular disease. Healthy lifestyle interventions can help reduce this health inequity. In this qualitative study, we examined the perceptions that decision makers in supportive housing agencies had toward a peer-led healthy lifestyle...
Article
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Objective: This study aimed to understand the pathways to care from the onset of a first episode of psychosis to entry into a specialized early intervention service (EIS) for individuals with nonaffective psychosis. Methods: A sample of 20 individuals who participated in an EIS and ten of their family members were enrolled. Semistructured qualit...
Article
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This study examined the feasibility, acceptability, and initial impact of bridges to better health and wellness (B2BHW), a culturally-adapted health care manager intervention for Hispanics with serious mental illness (SMI). Thirty-four Hispanics with SMI and at risk for cardiovascular disease were enrolled. Mixed-linear models were used to examine...
Article
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Background Significant mental health disparities exist for Hispanic populations, especially with regard to depression treatment. Stigma and poor communication between patients and their providers result in low use of antidepressant medications and early treatment withdrawal. Cultural factors which influence treatment decisions among Hispanics inclu...
Article
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Purpose: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among Latinos and disproportionately impacts people with psychiatric disorders. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between CVD and psychiatric disorders among different Latino subgroups using a nationally representative sample. Methods: Latinos participants (...
Article
Overweight and obesity disproportionally impact people with serious mental illness (SMI). Healthy lifestyle interventions can improve the health of people with SMI but may need to be adapted for this population. The aims of this study were: to (1) examine the feasibility and acceptability of delivering the Peer-based Group Lifestyle Balance (PGLB)...
Article
Health interventions delivered by peer specialists or co-facilitated by peer specialists and health professionals can help improve the physical health of people with serious mental illness (SMI). Yet, the quality of the studies examining these health interventions and their impact on health outcomes remains unclear. To address this gap, we conducte...
Article
Bridging the gap between research and practice is a critical frontier for the future of social work. Integrating implementation science into social work can advance our profession’s effort to bring research and practice closer together. Implementation science examines the factors, processes, and strategies that influence the uptake, use, and sustai...
Article
Purpose: The purpose of the current study was to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of an integrated self-management intervention that simultaneously targets diabetes and depression self-management in a primary care clinic that serves the Latino immigrant community. Methods: The integrated intervention includ...
Article
Purpose: The purpose of the current study was to engage a local primary care clinic community that serves the Latino immigrant population to obtain their input regarding the design and implementation of a proposed integrated behavioral intervention that will simultaneously target T2DM and depression self-management in this high risk patient popula...
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The risk for obesity is twice as high in people with serious mental illness (SMI) compared to the general population. Racial and ethnic minority status contribute additional health risks. The aim of this study is to describe the protocol of a Hybrid Trial Type 1 design that will test the effectiveness and examine the implementation of a peer-led he...
Article
Relative to non-Latino Whites, Latinos in the United States with major depressive disorder (MDD) show low engagement in antidepressant therapy, whether engagement is defined as pharmacotherapy access, medication initiation, pill-taking, or treatment retention. One potential reason for this disparity in depression care is the low cultural congruence...
Article
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The purpose was to evaluate the impact of a depression fotonovela in increasing knowledge of depression symptoms and treatments and reducing stigma among Latinos. Data were from a randomized controlled trial in which Latinos from adult schools (N=132) were assigned to receive the fotonovela or a depression brochure and were assessed on knowledge an...
Article
Health care manager interventions can improve the physical health of people with serious mental illness (SMI). In this study, we used concepts from the theory of diffusion of innovations, the consolidated framework for implementation research and a taxonomy of implementation strategies to examine stakeholders' recommendations for implementing a hea...
Article
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Background: Health-care manager interventions improve the physical health of people with serious mental illness (SMI) and could be widely implemented in public mental health clinics. Local adaptations and customization may be needed to increase the reach of these interventions in the public mental health system and across different racial and ethn...
Article
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People living with serious mental illness (SMI) have shorter life expectancies than the general population. We examined how contextual factors influence the physical health of this population. We conducted interviews, focus groups, and participant observations with stakeholders from six behavioral health organizations. We found that consumers' avoi...
Article
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Young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who experience mental health problems experience transitions and need help from a variety of organizations. Organizations promote continuity of care by assisting young adults with developmental, service, and systemic transitions. Providers offer specific services to help transitions and also form cooperati...
Conference Paper
Background and Purpose. Compared to non-Hispanic Whites with serious mental illness (SMI), Hispanics with SMI have higher rates of obesity and diabetes, placing them at elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Modifiable risk factors (e.g., lack of exercise, stress, unhealthy diets) contribute to this elevated risk. These health behaviors do...
Conference Paper
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Objectives. Many Latino adults with limited English proficiency fail to seek help for depression due to stigma, lack of knowledge, and misconceptions about depression treatments. Culturally- adapted depression literacy tools, such as fotonovelas, can help address these barriers to care. Fotonovelas are popular health education tools that portray a...
Article
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Purpose: To examine practices, barriers, and recommendations for addressing the physical health of racially and ethnically diverse people with serious mental illness (SMI). Methods: Semi-structured interviews and participant observations were conducted with 21 administrators and 25 clinicians representing six mental health care organizations. Da...
Article
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This mixed-methods study examines the primary health care experiences of Hispanic patients with serious mental illness. Forty patients were recruited from an outpatient mental health clinic. Participants reported a combination of perceived discrimination and stigmatization when receiving medical care. They rated the quality of chronic illness care...
Article
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Permanent supportive housing (PSH) is an intervention to address long-term homelessness. Evidence has resulted in a shift in US policy toward using PSH rather than shelters and transitional housing. Despite recognizing that individuals transitioning from homelessness to PSH experience a high burden of disease and health disparities, public health r...
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Growing awareness of health and health care disparities highlights the importance of including information about race, ethnicity, and culture (REC) in health research. Reporting of REC factors in research publications, however, is notoriously imprecise and unsystematic. This article describes the development of a checklist to assess the comprehensi...
Article
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Racial and ethnic disparities in the United States exist along the entire continuum of mental health care, from access and use of services to the quality and outcomes of care. Efforts to address these inequities in mental health care have focused on adapting evidence-based treatments to clients' diverse cultural backgrounds. Yet, like many evidence...
Article
Objectives: Recovery from mental disorders encompasses multiple interrelated dimensions. This study used photovoice to explore how individuals with serious mental illness and a history of substance abuse and homelessness envisioned their recovery. A dimensional recovery model was applied to examine how the interrelationships between recovery dimen...
Article
Background: The proportion of people in the United States with multiple chronic medical conditions (MCMC) is increasing. Yet, little is known about the relationship that race, ethnicity, and psychiatric disorders have on the prevalence of MCMCs in the general population. Methods: This study used data from wave 2 of the National Epidemiologic Sur...