Predicting and controlling aggression on the part of psychiatric inpatients
This research program is currently underway at the State Hospital at Fulton, where the department operates a forensic fellowship program. The Fulton campus includes a 200-bed, maximum-security forensic hospital, the only one of its kind in Missouri.
Niels Beck, PhD, coordinates this effort and studies are being conducted that involve abstracting data from hospital records of highly assaultive patients, including seclusion/restraint records, and tracking the types of medications used to control these behaviors. The goal is to develop medication algorithms for the management of aggressive behavior.
Additional investigations are underway that examine differences in staff/patient interactional patterns in highly assaultive vs. non-assaultive patient samples, the frequency of abuse and neglect in the family histories of these patient groups and a genetic study that targets several polymorphisms of genes thought to play a role in the development of hyper-emotionality and aggressive behavior. Residents in the second and fourth years, as well as forensic fellows, have an opportunity to work with Beck on these projects.
Health Innovation and Treatment Research Lab
The Health Intervention and Treatment Research Lab (HIT Lab) is led by Mary Beth Miller, PhD. Research efforts are focused on how and why people change their health habits, including the study of drug and alcohol addiction, nutrition and sleep.
Recent studies have explored ways to improve the efficacy of addiction prevention and treatment in young people and in veterans.
Health Neuroscience Center
The Health Neuroscience Center (HNC), housed within the University of Missouri's Department of Psychology, works closely with the Department of Psychiatry in research efforts. Brett Froeliger, PhD, has appointments in both departments and studies neural and behavioral mechanisms affecting substance use disorders and approaches to treat addiction pathophysiology.
Research within the HNC uses cognitive and neuroscience methods to better understand addiction, including nicotine, and discover new treatments for addiction to improve public health and well-being.