Researchers at the Silver School of Social Work at New York University have been awarded a grant of more than $3 million by the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct a large, randomized controlled trial of Person-Centered Care Planning” (PCCP), a recovery-oriented practice designed to engage people actively in their mental health services. PCCP, by promoting choice and collaboration by consumers of mental health services, puts the consumers in the driver’s seat of their care, while helping agencies align their services with recent health care reform initiatives.
The study of Person-Centered Care Planning will be conducted at 14 mental health agencies in Connecticut and Delaware by Dr. Victoria Stanhope, associate professor of social work, who is the principal investigator; Larry Davidson and Janis Tondora of Yale University; Steven Marcus of the University of Pennsylvania, and Deborah Padgett, professor of social work and global public health at NYU Silver, and a McSilver Faculty Fellow.
State by state, the mental health system has been moving toward Person-Centered Care. The Person-Centered Care model is a departure from traditional, more prescriptive approaches to the delivery of mental health services, and one of the principal hopes associated with it is that it will help to reduce the pervasive and challenging problem of people disengaging from mental health care. While numerous states have embraced the collaborative model as part of health care reform efforts, many are now looking for guidance on how best to implement it in practice, taking into account the limited availability of workforce development resources.
The study will test the impact of PCCP, paying close attention to the organizational factors that shape implementation. In the study’s randomized controlled trial phase, Dr. Stanhope and her colleagues will compare consumer outcomes at community mental health clinics trained in Person-Centered Care Planning to consumer outcomes where community mental health clinics provide treatment as usual. Qualitative inquiry will be used to better understand the care planning and implementation process associated with the intervention.
Designed to bridge the science to services gap, the study will focus on how agencies can bring about the wholesale transformation needed to deliver sustainable person-centered care. The study is the first of its kind to examine the synergy between PCCP, provider level training, and organizational factors, and to document their impact on consumer outcomes. The study also has the potential to generate valuable guidance on how state systems that are engaged in transforming their mental health services can best use their limited resources during times of significant fiscal constraint.
Research begins this month under the support of the R01 grant from NIMH.