WICHE Center for Rural Mental Health Research

Completed Projects

Listed by project completion date. You can also view these projects alphabetically.



  • Assessment of the Mental Health Funding Marketplace in Rural vs. Urban Settings
    This study will use nationally representative data to assess how mental health (MH) services are paid for in rural areas and determine differences in payment sources between rural and urban areas. If payment sources significantly vary in rural vs. urban settings, then policies that are aimed specifically at sources of funding may have a differential impact on subsequent access to and utilization of care and point to the need for policies that are specifically targeted to rural communities.
    Topics: Healthcare financing, Mental and behavioral health
  • Differences In Antipsychotic Medication Prescribing Patterns Between Rural And Urban Prescribers
    Second-generation antipsychotics have become the treatment of choice for persons with schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses. Compared to first generation antipsychotics, many second generation medications reduce symptoms with fewer problematic side-effects and related major health problems. However, one aspect that has seen little empirical attention is how longitudinal trends, benefits, and costs may differ between urban and rural areas.
    Topics: Diabetes, Mental and behavioral health, Pharmacy and prescription drugs
  • Differences in Prescribing Patterns of Psychotropic Medication for Children and Adolescents between Rural and Urban Prescribers
    This is an investigation of the extent to which psychotropic medication is prescribed to youth (17 and under) by primary care physicians, psychiatrists, or other prescribers in rural versus urban areas. It will also look at the particular types of medications being prescribed by age, sex, and other demographic variables.
    Topics: Mental and behavioral health, Pharmacy and prescription drugs
  • Rural-Urban Differences In The Use, Type, And Quality Of Depression Treatment
    As access to evidence-based treatment for affective disorders (major depressive disorder, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder) improves in urban areas, it is critical to monitor rural-urban differences in the use and quality of treatment over time to identify and address rural disparities, especially for vulnerable populations such as the elderly and ethnic minorities.
    Topics: Aging, Health disparities and health equity, Mental and behavioral health, Minority health



  • Distance Learning in Depression for Rural Primary Care Providers
    This project will develop effective distance learning methods to train rural primary care providers (PCPs) in integrated care models for depression using computer based training as an approach to improving mental health outcomes in rural areas.
    Topic: Mental and behavioral health
  • Identifying At-Risk Rural Areas for Targeting Enhanced Schizophrenia Treatment
    The goal of this project is to identify rural areas that should be targeted for early adoption of evidence-based schizophrenia treatment. This project proposes a scientifically-based method to identify counties in greatest need for quality improvement to inform national, regional, and local decision-makers about distributing scarce resources to areas which would most benefit from improved schizophrenia treatment.
    Topic: Mental and behavioral health
  • Identifying Stakeholders to Pay for Enhanced Depression Treatment in Rural Populations
    The goal of this project is to identify stakeholders who economically benefit when rural patients receive enhanced depression treatment, which will, in turn, encourage health plans to provide enhanced depression treatment to their rural enrollees without raising premiums.
    Topics: Healthcare financing, Mental and behavioral health


  • Community-Level Risk Factors for Depression Hospitalizations
    In this exploratory analysis, we examined the association between depression hospitalization rates and community-level socio-demographic, economic, and health care system characteristics.
    Topic: Mental and behavioral health
  • Differential Effectiveness of Enhanced Depression Treatment for Rural and Urban Primary Care Patients
    This project will explore whether rural populations achieve outcomes with depression treatment quality intervention comparable to their urban counterparts, and whether any outcome differences are explained by treatment mediators (e.g., evidence-based care) or psychosocial mediators (e.g., stressful life events and social support). Findings from this study can be used to refine interventions before they are disseminated to rural delivery systems.
    Topic: Mental and behavioral health
  • Identifying At-Risk Rural Areas for Targeting Enhanced Depression Treatment
    This project will identify characteristics of rural areas that are associated with increased risk of depression-related hospitalizations, and will identify high risk rural areas within the U.S. that should be targeted for early adoption of enhanced depression treatment models based on patient need.
    Topic: Mental and behavioral health
  • Informing Primary Care Depression Intervention: A Comparison of Hospitalization Rates in Depressed Rural and Urban Patients
    The goal in this research was to examine whether or not there is a differential impact of enhanced depression care on patient outcomes in rural versus urban primary care settings and whether differences are mediated by receiving evidence-based care (pharmacotherapy and specialty care counseling).
    Topics: Mental and behavioral health, Physicians
  • Preventing Hospitalization in Depressed Rural Patients
    This project will explore whether depressed rural patients are more likely than their urban counterparts to be hospitalized for depression and other health reasons over the course of two years; explore whether any current rural-urban hospitalization differences are reduced in models which control for previous intensive outpatient specialty care utilization; and explore rural-urban differences in the prevalence and consequences of administrative constraints on intensive outpatient specialty care use.
    Topic: Mental and behavioral health