Publications by authors named "Paige M Shaffer"

8 Publications

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Trauma-related differences in socio-emotional functioning predict housing and employment outcomes in homeless veterans.

Soc Sci Med 2021 07 2;281:114096. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, 01655, USA; Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, Bedford VA Medical Center, Bedford, MA, 01730, USA.

Rationale: Mental health and substance use disorders are strong risk factors for homelessness. Understanding the role of transdiagnostic factors could help inform efforts to reduce homelessness among veterans with a range of disorders. Homeless veterans have high rates of trauma exposure, which can result in the depletion of social and emotional resources that may contribute to housing and employment stability. In this study, we evaluated the role of problems with emotional lability and interpersonal closeness as transdiagnostic socio-emotional factors that might interfere with efforts to achieve housing and employment stability.

Methods: The sample consisted of 346 homeless veterans with co-occurring disorders that were admitted to a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) residential treatment program between 2004 and 2009. Assessments were conducted at treatment entry (baseline) and two follow-up timepoints (6- and 12-months). Variables used in the current analyses included history of interpersonal trauma exposure, emotional lability and interpersonal closeness at baseline and 6-months, and homelessness and employment problems during follow-up. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling and counterfactually-defined mediation effects.

Results: Veterans exposed to more trauma types experienced more baseline impairment and less improvement during treatment in emotional lability and interpersonal closeness. Problems with interpersonal closeness mediated 73% of the relationship between exposure to multiple traumas and homelessness, and 32%-61% of the relationship between trauma exposure and employment problems. Emotional lability mediated 36% of the relationship between exposure to multiple traumas and employment problems. Decomposition of indirect pathways revealed that indirect effects were primarily transmitted through changes during treatment, and not baseline levels.

Conclusion: Findings support a cumulative effect of trauma on persistence of socio-emotional deficits across treatment, which increased risk of homelessness and employment problems during follow-up. Greater attention and more targeted efforts should be directed at helping trauma-exposed veterans build socio-emotional resources during treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114096DOI Listing
July 2021

Engaging vulnerable populations in drug treatment court: Six month outcomes from a co-occurring disorder wraparound intervention.

Int J Law Psychiatry 2021 May-Jun;76:101700. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.

Objective: Although drug treatment courts (DTCs) have demonstrated positive outcomes, participants with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (CODs) are a high-risk group that often struggle with treatment engagement not previously examined. This pilot study fills this gap by looking at six-month behavioral health and criminal justice outcomes among a hard to engage DTC COD participant sample in two Massachusetts DTCs receiving a wraparound-treatment (Maintaining Independence and Sobriety through Systems Integration, Outreach, and Networking-Criminal Justice - MISSION-CJ).

Methods: Participants were evaluated at baseline and at six-month follow-up. Bivariate analyses examined baseline differences between clients with higher versus low engagement were examined. A mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) for repeated measures with time as the within subject factor, and level of engagement as the between subject factor was performed for criminal justice (CJ) and behavioral health outcomes.

Results: Participants were primarily male (86.6%), White (90.6%), living in unstable housing (86.2%), had an average of 18.94 years of criminal justice involvement, had an average of 15.49 years of regular illicit substance use, and mild mental health symptoms as measured by the BASIS-32 average total score (0.51), with no statistically significant differences at baseline from bivariate analyses. Mixed ANOVA results demonstrated significant effect time of time in MISSION-CJ on reducing nights in jail (p = 0.0266), opioid use (p = 0.0013), and mental health symptom (p = 0.0349). Additional improvements in nights in jail p = 0.0139), illicit substance use (p = 0.0358), and opioid use (p = 0.0013), were observed for clients that had high engagement in MISSION-CJ.

Conclusions: Wraparound services, such as MISSION-CJ, alongside DTC programming for a chronic relapsing DTC population can improve engagement in treatment and CJ and behavioral health outcomes. Future research is needed with MISSION-CJ that includes a randomized trial and a larger sample.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2021.101700DOI Listing
April 2021

Risk-need-responsivity and its application in behavioral health settings: A feasibility study of a treatment planning support tool.

Behav Sci Law 2021 Feb 10;39(1):44-64. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.

The risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model suggests several key practices for justice-involved populations under correctional supervision. Behavioral health treatment planning aligned with RNR principles for offender populations with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (CODs) could be one method for integrating RNR into clinical care. To explore a unique approach to working with behavioral health and RNR principles, the authors implemented a mixed-methods feasibility study of the acceptability, usability, and utility of a newly developed RNR treatment planning support tool (RNR TST). The tool was implemented in a re-entry program serving adults with co-occurring mental health and opioid use disorders. Chart reviews of RNR TSTs (N = 55) and a focus group (N = 14 re-entry clinical staff) were conducted. Ninety-six percent of the RNR TSTs incorporated the use of a validated risk-need assessment and 70% of the RNR TSTs were semi-complete to complete. Focus group interviews highlighted behavioral health staff perspectives on the acceptability, usability, and utility of the RNR TST. This novel RNR TST has the potential to assist behavioral health providers in integrating RNR principles into treatment planning. Further development and testing are needed to determine its impact on client care and outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bsl.2499DOI Listing
February 2021

Recidivism Treatment for Justice-Involved Veterans: Evaluating Adoption and Sustainment of Moral Reconation Therapy in the US Veterans Health Administration.

Adm Policy Ment Health 2021 Jan 30. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

Veterans Justice Programs, Veterans Health Administration, Washington, DC, USA.

Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT), an evidence-based intervention to reduce risk for criminal recidivism among justice-involved adults, was developed and primarily tested in correctional settings. Therefore, a better understanding of the implementation potential of MRT within non-correctional settings is needed. To address this gap in the literature, we evaluated the adoption and sustainment of MRT in the US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) following a national training initiative in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. In February 2019, surveys with 66 of the 78 VHA facilities that participated in the training were used to estimate the prevalence of MRT adoption and sustainment, and qualitative interviews with key informants from 20 facilities were used to identify factors associated with sustainment of MRT groups. Of the 66 facilities surveyed, the majority reported adopting (n = 52; 79%) and sustaining their MRT group until the time of the survey (n = 38; 58%). MRT sustainment was facilitated by strong intra-facility (e.g., between veterans justice and behavioral health services) and inter-agency collaborations (e.g., between VHA and criminal justice system stakeholders), which provided a reliable referral source to MRT groups, external incentives for patient engagement, and sufficient staffing to maintain groups. Additional facilitators of MRT sustainment were adaptations to the content and delivery of MRT for patients and screening of referrals to the groups. The findings provide guidance to clinics and healthcare systems that are seeking to implement MRT with justice-involved patient populations, and inform development of implementation strategies to be formally tested in future trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10488-021-01113-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7847225PMC
January 2021

Embedding a Co-occurring Disorders Rehabilitation Intervention in Veterans Courts: A Pilot Study with Male Veterans.

Community Ment Health J 2020 07 31;56(5):970-977. Epub 2020 Jan 31.

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Veterans treatment courts (VTCs) have expanded dramatically despite their limited empirical base. This pilot study examined MISSION-Criminal Justice (CJ), a co-occurring disorders wraparound intervention, delivered alongside two VTCs. Baseline data from 26 male veterans enrolled in two VTCs and MISSION-CJ, and 6-month follow-up data for 18 of the 26 veterans, are presented. Veterans on average were 37.5 years old, 85% Caucasian, had significant histories of criminal justice involvement (14.3 lifetime arrests), had an average of 14.7 years of alcohol use and 9.3 years of illicit drug use, and roughly three-quarters reported mental health symptomatology. At 6-month follow-up, veterans demonstrated improvements in behavioral health, substance use, and criminal justice outcomes. This study demonstrated promising preliminary outcomes of MISSION-CJ in VTCs. A randomized controlled trial is a critical next step to examine whether these outcomes remain consistent with a more rigorous design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10597-020-00565-zDOI Listing
July 2020

Correction to: Gambling Research and Funding Biases.

J Gambl Stud 2020 Dec;36(4):1413

Division on Addiction, The Cambridge Health Alliance, Medford, MA, USA.

Unfortunately, the original publication contains errors. The authors would like to correct the errors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10899-019-09878-5DOI Listing
December 2020

Gambling Research and Funding Biases.

J Gambl Stud 2019 Sep;35(3):875-886

Division on Addiction, The Cambridge Health Alliance, Medford, MA, USA.

A recent systematic review of the responsible gambling research suggests that there are no significant differences between gambling industry and non-industry funded research with regard to research design and outcomes. This study empirically synthesizes the outcomes of a larger sample of the scientific gambling literature to determine the generalizability of these original results. Our goal was to determine the extent to which funding sources might differentially influence characteristics of research design and outcomes. We conducted a comprehensive review of 18 research databases and examined studies published between January 2008 and August 2018. For four gambling-related journals, we reviewed all of the available studies. For 14 addiction-related journals, we examined only studies that examined gambling-related outcomes. To be included in this study, publications had to be quantitative and include a clear gambling-related hypothesis. After retrieving 1731 gambling studies, we applied the inclusion criteria and retained 720 studies for our final analytic sample. We used hypothesis confirmation and funding source information to determine the presence or absence of funding bias. Gambling industry funded studies were no more likely than studies not funded by the gambling industry to report either confirmed, partially confirmed, or rejected hypotheses. Nonetheless, studies funded by the gambling industry were more likely than other types of funding sources to include a conflict of interest statement. Studies with disclosed funding sources were more likely than those with undisclosed funding sources to include a conflict of interest statement. These findings highlight the importance of transparency and disclosure during research dissemination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10899-019-09875-8DOI Listing
September 2019

Changing Social Networks Among Homeless Individuals: A Prospective Evaluation of a Job- and Life-Skills Training Program.

Community Ment Health J 2016 10 7;52(7):799-808. Epub 2015 Jan 7.

Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School, 101 Station Landing, Suite 2100, Medford, MA, 02155, USA.

Social networks play important roles in mental and physical health among the general population. Building healthier social networks might contribute to the development of self-sufficiency among people struggling to overcome homelessness and substance use disorders. In this study of homeless adults completing a job- and life-skills program (i.e., the Moving Ahead Program at St. Francis House, Boston), we prospectively examined changes in social network quality, size, and composition. Among the sample of participants (n = 150), we observed positive changes in social network quality over time. However, social network size and composition did not change among the full sample. The subset of participants who reported abstaining from alcohol during the months before starting the program reported healthy changes in their social networks; specifically, while completing the program, they re-structured their social networks such that fewer members of their network used alcohol to intoxication. We discuss practical implications of these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10597-014-9817-5DOI Listing
October 2016