Publications by authors named "Tate F Halverson"

10 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Engagement with a digital therapeutic for smoking cessation designed for persons with psychiatric illness fully mediates smoking outcomes in a pilot randomized controlled trial.

Transl Behav Med 2021 Sep;11(9):1717-1725

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27705, USA.

Understanding the mechanisms of change of digital therapeutics is a critical step to improve digital health outcomes and optimize their development. Access to and engagement with digital content is arguably a core mechanism of change of these interventions. However, the mediational role of app engagement has been largely unexamined. To evaluate the mediational effect of engaging with a digital therapeutic for smoking cessation designed for adults with psychiatric disorders. Secondary analysis of a pilot clinical trial of 62 adults with serious mental illness who were randomized to receive either a tailored digital therapeutic (Learn to Quit) or a digital therapeutic for the general public (NCI QuitGuide). Engagement was captured using background analytics of app utilization, including (a) number of interactions with app content, (b) minutes/day of app use, and (c) number of days used. The main outcome was reductions in cigarettes per day from baseline to the four-month endpoint. Mediational analysis followed the Preacher and Hayes bootstrap method. Number of application interactions fully mediated reductions in cigarettes per day in the Learn to Quit application but not in QuitGuide (Average Causal Mediation Effect = .31, p = .02). Minutes/day of app use played an uncertain role, and number of days used was not a significant mediator. Results suggest that one of the mechanisms of action of the Learn to Quit device, engagement with theory-based content, functioned as intended. Future research of digital therapeutics should emphasize granular approaches to evaluating apps' mechanisms of action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tbm/ibab100DOI Listing
September 2021

Enhancing stress reactivity and wellbeing in early schizophrenia: A randomized controlled trial of Integrated Coping Awareness Therapy (I-CAT).

Schizophr Res 2021 Sep 28;235:91-101. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States of America; School of Behavioural and Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Australia.

Individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) are at heightened risk for exposure to stressful life events which can lead to increased sensitivity to stress and a dysregulated stress response, which are in turn associated with poor long-term functioning. Stress reactivity is thus a promising treatment target in the early stages of SSD. Integrated-Coping Awareness Therapy (I-CAT) is a manualized intervention integrating mindfulness and positive psychology to target a dysregulated stress response in SSD. The current study is a preliminary randomized-controlled trial (RCT) comparing I-CAT (n = 18) with treatment as usual (TAU; n = 18) in individuals in the early stages of SSD. I-CAT was hypothesized to be more effective than TAU on primary outcomes: increasing positive emotions, decreasing negative emotions, reducing stress, and improving functioning and quality of life; and secondary outcomes: reducing symptoms, increasing mindfulness, and improving overall well-being. Excellent therapy attendance rates, low study attrition, and positive participant feedback demonstrated that I-CAT was a feasible and well-tolerated psychosocial intervention. Results suggest I-CAT led to greater reduction in symptoms (i.e., overall, negative, and disorganized symptoms), increased observational mindfulness, increased endorsement of a sense of purpose in life, and preservation of work abilities and school social functioning compared with TAU. Future work should replicate and extend these findings in a larger-scale RCT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2021.07.022DOI Listing
September 2021

Experiential avoidance is associated with medical and mental health diagnoses in a national sample of deployed Gulf War veterans.

J Psychiatr Res 2021 Oct 22;142:17-24. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Durham VA Health Care System, 508 Fulton Street, Durham, NC, 27705, USA; VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, 3022 Croasdaile Dr., Durham, NC, 27705, USA; Duke University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, DUMC 3625, Durham, NC, 27710, USA. Electronic address:

A substantial minority of deployed Gulf War veterans developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and several chronic illnesses. Although military combat and exposure to certain nuclear, biological, and chemical agents (NBCs) increase risk for post-deployment health problems, they do not fully explain many Gulf War veteran health diagnoses and are not viable treatment targets. Experiential avoidance (EA; one's unwillingness to remain in contact with unpleasant internal experiences) is a modifiable psychosocial risk factor associated with PTSD and depression in veterans as well as pain and gastrointestinal diseases in the general population. In this study, we recruited a national sample of deployed Gulf War veterans (N = 454) to test the hypothesis that greater EA would be significantly associated with higher lifetime odds of PTSD, depression, "Gulf War Illness" (GWI/CMI), and other chronic illnesses common in this veteran cohort. Participants completed a self-report battery assessing demographic, military-related, and health-related information. Multivariate analyses showed that after adjusting for age, sex, race, combat exposure, and NBC exposure, worse EA was associated with higher lifetime odds of PTSD, depression GWI/CMI, gastrointestinal problems, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome (ORs ranged 1.25 to 2.89; effect sizes ranged small to large), but not asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Our findings suggest medical and mental health providers alike should assess for EA and potentially target EA as part of a comprehensive, biopsychosocial approach to improving Gulf War veterans' health and wellbeing. Study limitations and future research directions are also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.07.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8429252PMC
October 2021

Functioning and Happiness in People with Schizophrenia: Analyzing the Role of Cognitive Impairment.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 07 20;18(14). Epub 2021 Jul 20.

Department of Medicine and Medical Specialities, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Alcalá, 28801 Alcalá de Henares, Spain.

Schizophrenia is associated with marked functional impairment and low levels of subjective happiness. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the relationship between subjective happiness and functioning in patients with schizophrenia, while considering the role of cognitive functioning.

Methods: In total, 69 schizophrenia patients and 87 matched healthy controls participated in the study. Patients' clinical status was assessed, and a series of self-report questionnaires were administered to both patients and healthy controls to measure subjective happiness, satisfaction with life, well-being, functioning, and cognitive impairment. A multiple linear regression model identified significant predictors of subjective happiness and related constructs.

Results: Schizophrenia participants endorsed lower levels of happiness and well-being, and higher perceived stress compared to healthy controls. In schizophrenia patients, there was an inverse and significant correlation (r = -0.435; = 0.013) between subjective happiness and functioning in a subgroup of patients without cognitive impairment. This correlation was not significant (r = -0.175; = 0.300) in the subgroup with cognitive impairment. When controlling for other clinical variables (by multiple lineal regression), the severity of symptoms and level of insight failed to demonstrate significant relationships with happiness; meanwhile, perceived stress and some specific cognitive dominions (as verbal learning and processing speed) were associated with satisfaction of life of the patients.

Conclusions: The relationship between subjective happiness and functioning in schizophrenia patients was influenced by level of cognitive impairment. Findings from this study suggest that rehabilitation programs may improve recovery outcomes with a focus on subjective happiness and functioning, especially in patients with cognitive impairment. Future research is needed to better understand the complex interplay between subjective happiness, functioning, and cognitive impairment in patients with schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147706DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8303973PMC
July 2021

Mentalizing Errors in Patients with Schizophrenia Who Received Psychosocial Rehabilitation: a Case-Control Study.

Psychiatr Q 2021 Sep 6;92(3):947-959. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Príncipe de Asturias University Hospital, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain.

The main objective of this study was to evaluate the mentalizing performance of patients with schizophrenia who received daily psychosocial rehabilitation treatment compared with healthy controls. Differences in mentalizing performance between men and women, and the relationship between mentalizing deficits, cognitive impairment, symptoms, and global functioning of patients were also examined. A case-control study design was utilized (N = 95). Adults with schizophrenia were recruited from psychosocial rehabilitation clinics (n = 53) and healthy controls were recruited from the community (n = 42). Mentalizing was evaluated with the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition, an audiovisual measure with good ecological validity. Measures of cognitive functioning, symptoms, and global functioning were also administered. Patients exhibited significant mentalizing deficits. Specifically, patients made more undermentalizing errors and more no mentalizing errors compared with healthy controls. In patients and healthy controls, no differences were found between men and women in mentalizing abilities. In patients with schizophrenia, lower cognitive functioning (i.e., immediate and delayed verbal learning, verbal fluency, and processing speed) were associated with poorer mentalizing. In patients, processing speed explained 31% of the variance in total mentalizing errors and mentalizing deterioration was associated with poorer overall functioning. Psychosocial rehabilitation interventions in people with schizophrenia should consider mentalizing deficits (especially undermentalizing and no mentalizing difficulties) and their relationship with reduced processing speed in treatment delivery (e.g., direct and organized communication). Integration of treatments targeting mentalizing deficits in a psychosocial rehabilitation setting is recommended to improve functioning in schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11126-020-09863-xDOI Listing
September 2021

Neighborhood socioeconomic status and racial disparities in schizophrenia: An exploration of domains of functioning.

Schizophr Res 2020 10 24;224:95-101. Epub 2020 Oct 24.

Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Australian Catholic University, School of Behavioural and Health Sciences, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Black Americans are disproportionately diagnosed with schizophrenia and experience worse objective functional outcomes (e.g., hospitalizations) than their White counterparts. However, we have a limited understanding of the psychological pathways through which Black Americans with schizophrenia reach worse outcomes. This study assessed race and domains of functioning (e.g., neurocognition, functional capacity) known to be associated with objective outcomes in a sample of 108 non-Hispanic Black and 61 non-Hispanic White individuals with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders from the Social Cognition Psychometric Evaluation (SCOPE) study. Three primary findings emerged: First, Black participants showed lower scores than White participants on measures of neurocognition(NC), social cognition(SC), and everyday living skills, but not social skills or community functioning. Second, neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) explained 21% of the relationship between race and NC but did not mediate the relationship between race and SC or everyday living skills. Finally, prior research has established that NC, SC, social skills, and everyday living skills predict community functioning in individuals. Finally, prior research has established that NC, SC, social skills, and everyday living skills predict community functioning in individuals with schizophrenia. In our sample, after controlling for neighborhood SES, race did not moderate the relationships of NC, SC, social skills, or everyday living skills to community functioning. This indicates that relationships between these domains are comparably strong across Black and White Americans. Taken together, these findings show that NC, SC, and everyday living skills may be important areas to explore in regards to racial disparities in schizophrenia. More research, especially incorporating nuanced race- and SES-related variables, is needed to understand how to best intervene and improve real-world outcomes for Black Americans with schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2020.09.020DOI Listing
October 2020

Psychometric properties of the Observable Social Cognition Rating Scale (OSCARS): Self-report and informant-rated social cognitive abilities in schizophrenia.

Psychiatry Res 2020 Feb 26;286:112891. Epub 2020 Feb 26.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Chapel Hill, NC, United States; Australian Catholic University, School of Behavioural and Health Sciences, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) consistently show deficits in social cognition (SC) which is associated with real world outcomes. Psychosocial treatments have demonstrated reliable improvements in SC abilities, highlighting the need for accurate identification of SC deficits for efficient and individualized treatment planning. To this end, the Observable Social Cognition Rating Scale (OSCARS) is an 8-item scale with both self and informant versions. This study investigated psychometric properties of the OSCARS as both a self and informant-reported scale in a large sample of SSD (n = 382) and individuals without a psychiatric diagnosis (n = 289). A two-factor structure (Social Cognitive Bias and Social Cognitive Ability) of the OSCARS demonstrated acceptable model fit with good internal consistency for both self- and informant-report. The OSCARS had adequate convergent, external, and predictive validity. Area Under the Curve (AUC) values suggest the OSCARS has some value in identifying individuals with impaired SC and social competence, although stronger AUC values were demonstrated when identifying individuals with impaired real-world functioning. Overall, psychometric properties indicate the OSCARS may be a useful first-step tool for clinicians to detect functioning deficits in SSD and efficiently identify individuals in need of additional assessment or psychosocial interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112891DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483899PMC
February 2020

Pathways to functional outcomes in schizophrenia spectrum disorders: Meta-analysis of social cognitive and neurocognitive predictors.

Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2019 10 12;105:212-219. Epub 2019 Aug 12.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA; Australian Catholic University, School of Behavioural and Health Sciences, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

The current meta-analysis explored relationships between functional outcomes in schizophrenia spectrum disorders and different domains of neurocognition and social cognition. Literature searches were conducted in PsycINFO, PubMed, and ProQuest to identify articles reporting correlations between cognition domains and functional outcomes. Of 1361 articles identified, 166 met all inclusion criteria (12,868 participants; 518 correlations). Fifty-three random-effects meta-analyses yielded mean correlation estimates for relationships between neurocognition and social cognition and functional outcomes. Overall, associations between social cognition and neurocognition, and functional outcomes demonstrated significant small-to-medium effect sizes. Social cognition explained more unique variance in functioning than neurocognition (7.3% vs. 4.4%; 9.2% total average variance). Social cognition also mediated the relationship between neurocognition and functional outcomes. A significant proportion of the variance in the relationships between cognition and functional outcomes remained unexplained. These findings suggest that integrated interventions targeting both neurocognition and social cognition may optimally improve functional outcomes. Standardized measurement of cognition and functioning, longitudinal studies, and tests of additional moderators (e.g., first episode samples) in future research were identified as important future directions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.07.020DOI Listing
October 2019

Evidence-Based Assessment from Simple Clinical Judgments to Statistical Learning: Evaluating a Range of Options Using Pediatric Bipolar Disorder as a Diagnostic Challenge.

Clin Psychol Sci 2018 Mar 8;6(2):243-265. Epub 2017 Dec 8.

Johns Hopkins University.

Reliability of clinical diagnoses is often low. There are many algorithms that could improve diagnostic accuracy, and statistical learning is becoming popular. Using pediatric bipolar disorder as a clinically challenging example, we evaluated a series of increasingly complex models ranging from simple screening to a supervised LASSO regression in a large (=550) academic clinic sample. We then externally validated models in a community clinic (=511) with the same candidate predictors and semi-structured interview diagnoses, providing high methodological consistency; the clinics also had substantially different demography and referral patterns. Models performed well according to internal validation metrics. Complex models degraded rapidly when externally validated. Naïve Bayesian and logistic models concentrating on predictors identified in prior meta-analyses tied or bettered LASSO models when externally validated. Implementing these methods would improve clinical diagnostic performance. Statistical learning research should continue to invest in high quality indicators and diagnoses to supervise model training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2167702617741845DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6152934PMC
March 2018

Comparing the CASI-4R and the PGBI-10 M for Differentiating Bipolar Spectrum Disorders from Other Outpatient Diagnoses in Youth.

J Abnorm Child Psychol 2017 04;45(3):611-623

Department of Psychiatry, Kennedy Krieger Institute, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 21218, USA.

We compared 2 rating scales with different manic symptom items on diagnostic accuracy for detecting pediatric bipolar spectrum disorder (BPSDs) in outpatient mental health clinics. Participants were 681 parents/guardians of eligible children (465 male, mean age = 9.34) who completed the Parent General Behavior Inventory-10-item Mania (PGBI-10 M) and mania subscale of the Child and Adolescent Symptom Inventory-Revised (CASI-4R). Diagnoses were based on KSADS interviews with parent and youth. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses and diagnostic likelihood ratios (DLRs) determined discriminative validity and provided clinical utility, respectively. Logistic regressions tested for incremental validity in the CASI-4R mania subscale and PGBI-10 M in predicting youth BPSD status above and beyond demographic and common diagnostic comorbidities. Both CASI-4R and PGBI-10 M scales significantly distinguished BPSD (N = 160) from other disorders (CASI-4R: Area under curve (AUC) = .80, p < 0.0005; PGBI-10 M: AUC = 0.79, p < 0.0005) even though scale items differed. Both scales performed equally well in differentiating BPSDs (Venkatraman test p > 0.05). Diagnostic likelihood ratios indicated low scores on either scale (CASI: 0-5; PGBI-10 M: 0-6) cut BPSD odds to 1/5 of those with high scores (CASI DLR- = 0.17; PGBI-10 M DLR- = 0.18). High scores on either scale (CASI: 14+; PGBI-10 M: 20+) increased BPSD odds about fourfold (CASI DLR+ = 4.53; PGBI-10 M DLR+ = 3.97). Logistic regressions indicated the CASI-4R mania subscale and PGBI-10 M each provided incremental validity in predicting youth BPSD status. The CASI-4R is at least as valid as the PGBI-10 M to help identify BPSDs, and can be considered as part of an assessment battery to screen for pediatric BPSDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10802-016-0182-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5685560PMC
April 2017
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