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Wilkinson, Rhee Awarded NIH Research Project Grants

September 13, 2023

Samuel Wilkinson, MD, associate professor of psychiatry, and Greg Rhee, PhD, assistant professor adjunct of psychiatry, have been awarded two grants through the National Institutes of Health Research Project Grants Program.

The first grant, totaling $2.15 million, will fund a study to evaluate the effectiveness of electroconvulsive therapy among older adults with dementia.

From the grant proposal: “Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be an effective treatment modality for severe neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). Using a nationwide, longitudinal cohort design, this study aims to examine longitudinal associations of ECT with NPS and other key clinical outcomes in adults with ADRD. Our findings will inform more effective clinical guidance on ECT use in older adults with ADRD.”

The study funded by the second grant, for $3.12 million, will evaluate the effectiveness of intensive outpatient programs in reducing suicidal behaviors.

From the grant proposal: “Approximately one-quarter of all suicides occur among patients who are within three months of discharge from a psychiatric hospital. Intensive outpatient programs/partial hospitalization programs (IOP/PHPs) have been instituted to help care for high-risk patients who do not fully require 24-hour supervision. This project will examine the effectiveness of IOP/PHP as a service intervention to reduce the risk of suicide death in the post-hospital discharge period compared to standard outpatient follow-up care among Medicaid recipients.”

The duration of both grants is five years.

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on September 13, 2023