Services Effectiveness Research Program (SERP)

Duke University School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences



A team of mental health services researchers at Duke works under the aegis of the Services Effectiveness Research Program (SERP) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine.

Program Director Barbara J. Burns, Ph.D., and Co-Director Marvin Swartz, M.D., are nationally recognized leaders in these fields. The mission of SERP is to help integrate psychiatric and psychological research into clinical practice. Toward this end, researchers in SERP conduct mental health services research in the four areas listed below.

SERP faculty members actively participate in mentoring postdoctoral fellows through the NRSA postdoctoral fellowship program in Mental Health and Subtance Abuse Systems and Services Research, which is co-sponsored by UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University.


Featured: Together Facing the Challenge

Treatment Effectiveness Research - Evaluating the effectiveness of treatment modalities in the context of 'real world' clinical settings to improve outcomes for children and adolescents with serious emotional disorders and adults with severe mental illnesses.

Mental Health Services/Policy - Examining the complex interaction between healthcare policy and psychiatric services and its effect on access to care, quality of care, treatment outcome, and financial cost when treating at-risk clinical populations.

Law and Mental Health - Investigating the impact of the legal system on treatment outcome of persons with severe mental illness and the risk and protective factors mediating the relationship between violence and mental disorder.

Intervention/Dissemination/Training - Transferring clinical technology into clinical practice by training mental health professionals to utilize evidence-based practices and training empirical investigators in the area of mental health services research.