Project Summary

Background: Behavioral health concerns and the serious consequences of behavioral health issues (hospitalization and death) are prevalent in the greater Seattle area. While much research is conducted in academic settings to explore strategies to address this problem, there is substantial delay between healthcare research findings and community implementation. Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) have been found to narrow the research practice gap, yet few focus on behavioral health conditions, engage patient stakeholders alongside clinicians and academic researchers, and span the continuum of care.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: To bridge that gap, this project engages a diverse group of behavioral health stakeholders (patients, clinicians, health system personnel, academic researchers) to build capacity to conduct patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and comparative effectiveness research (CER) through the establishment of a behavioral health PBRN. The project leverages existing local resources and knowledge and engages stakeholders from community-based behavioral health organizations, a community-based nonprofit healthcare system and the school of social work at a large public university.

Objectives: The project aim is to build capacity to conduct PCOR and CER that is meaningful to diverse behavioral health stakeholders across the continuum of care. Objectives include improving health outcomes, decreasing health inequities, and contributing to the broader body of behavioral health knowledge through research that is generalizable and publishable.

Project Activities: Stakeholders will collaboratively create and facilitate seminars designed to provide stakeholders with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to conduct PCOR and CER. Through monthly meetings, stakeholders will draft an engagement guide; the engagement guide is a practical guide to establishing a behavioral health PBRN. Stakeholders will utilize the engagement guide to establish a local behavioral health PBRN, draft a research priority plan for the PBRN, and host the first PBRN meeting.

Outcomes and Outputs: The PREP COLLAB develops an engaged group of diverse behavioral health stakeholders who are ready to conduct PCOR and CER. Through the work completed in monthly meetings, the PREP COLLAB will produce a stakeholder engagement guide that is a practical resource and how-to guide for establishing a behavioral health PBRN. At the conclusion of the project, the PREP COLLAB will host the first PBRN meeting, register the PBRN with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and approve a research priority plan.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The PREP COLLAB is comprised of diverse behavioral health stakeholders: patients, community-based clinicians, health system personnel, and academic researchers. Utilizing a mutual expert model that equally values the expertise and experience of all stakeholders, the project challenges the historical hierarchy in health care and in research. All project stakeholders are involved in collaboratively planning and executing all project activities, equitably compensated for their time, with equal voice and vote in all project decision making.

Project collaborators include: University of Washington School of Social Work, Evergreen Treatment Services, Sound, NAMI Seattle, and Swedish Health Services.

Project Information

Elizabeth Wierman, MSW, BA
Swedish Health Services

Key Dates

24 months


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: March 4, 2022