This Disparities Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital’s project investigates differential mechanisms that may explain ethnic/racial disparities in mental health outcomes and mental health service delivery utilizing national datasets.
Through a grant funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) the International Latino Research Project (ILRP) in the Disparities Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital brings together research institutions and their partnering community clinics in Boston, Madrid and Barcelona, Spain to enhance a collaborative international partnership and to develop the research evidence necessary to respond to Latino migrants’ behavioral health service needs. The ILRP multi-site international project is a critical step towards developing models of integrated care for the large and diverse Latino migrant population and more broadly towards understanding how best to integrate evidence-based assessment and treatments for co-occurring substance and mental health problems and HIV risks.
- AIM 1: Develop an international partnership and research collaboration to support research that can improve accessibility, quality and outcomes of integrated behavioral health services for migrant Latinos with co-occurring substance use and mental health problems, and an increased HIV risk.
- AIM 2: Harmonize data across research sites that: Promotes consistency of newly collected data; standardizes data base construction; supports uniform documentation of studies and files; and enables the aggregation of data on Latino migrant samples to build a robust body of research evidence for improving behavioral health services in primary care clinics.
- AIM 3: Conduct behavioral health services research focused on rapid screening and referral; as well as testing the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of integrated behavioral health services in primary care clinics for migrant Latinos with co-occurring substance use and mental health problems, and increased risk of HIV.
We follow a Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) model, where we first test the validity of a brief behavioral health screener for Spanish-Speaking populations. Building on that work, we test the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of the “Integrated Intervention for Dual Problems and Early Action” (IIDEA) intervention addressing mental health, substance use, and prevention of HIV/STIs.
We additionally collaborate with the University of Chicago through a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) supplement that utilizes statistical methodology for testing whether items presented to Latinos in Spanish differ from those presented to non-Latinos in English in how they relate to underlying latent psychopathology constructs--what is called differential item functioning. The supplement develops, tests, and applies new methodology to measuring severity of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.
This study is supported by Research Grant 7R01DA034952, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and research supplement R01MH100155, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.