Rani Hoff, MPH, PhD

Professor of Psychiatry; Associate Director, National Clinician Scholar Program; Director, Northeast Program Evaluation Center; Director, Evaluation Division, National Center for PTSD

Research Departments & Organizations

Psychiatry: Division of Mental Health Services | Division of Women's Behavioral Health Research

National Clinician Scholars Program

Women's Health Research at Yale: WHRY Research Cores: Women & Trauma Core

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Interests

Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders; Homeless Persons; Mood Disorders; Prisoners; Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders; Substance-Related Disorders; Veterans; Vulnerable Populations; Women

Research Summary

Dr. Desai’s research utilizes principles of psychiatric epidemiology and services research to examine risk factors and correlates of psychiatric disorders, with particular attention paid to co-occurring disorders and vulnerable populations. This research has included studies on pathological gambling, schizophrenia, substance abuse/dependence, the risk of suicide in psychiatric patients, trauma and comorbidity, criminal justice mental health, and the mental health problems experienced by the homeless and by returning Veterans from the Middle East. At the national level, Dr. Desai regularly advises senior management within the VA Office of Mental Health Operations, the Office of Mental Health services, and other areas of VA Central Office regarding VA performance with respect to mental health services, and the appropriate metrics to evaluate those services nationally. She has also served on several advisory committees to the VA on the mental health needs of female veterans, with particular attention to military sexual trauma. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the Survey of the Experiences of Returning Veterans (SERV) a large VA-funded study of the gender differences in coping behaviors of Veterans returning from military service.

Extensive Research Description

  • Health correlates of compulsive video game playing, shopping, and stealing among high school students in CT
  • Associations between gambling behaviors and other health and risk behaviors in adolescents
  • Gender differences in the association between deployment experiences and substance use and abuse in veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan (SERV Study)
    • Use of CAM services in the treatment of PTSD
    • Pain as a mediator of the association between childhood abuse and onset of major depression in adults
    • Predictors of the use of residential treatment services in VA
    • Differential mortality in Veterans with and without mental illness
    • Surgical outcomes in Veterans with and without mental illness
    • Cardiac outcomes in Veterans with and without mental illness
    • Gender differences in the correlates of cutting behavior in adolescents

Selected Publications

See list of PubMed publications

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