Services Effectiveness Research Program (SERP)

Duke University School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Staff Directory

Jeffrey Swanson, Ph.D.

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Phone 919-682-4827
Fax 919-682-1907
CV or Webpage CV, Webpage
Mailing Address Box 3071 DUMC, Durham, NC  27710


1975-1979 - Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California B.A. 1979, (sociology)

1979-1985 - Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut M.A. 1980, M.Phil. 1982, Ph.D. 1985 (medical sociology)

Research Interests:

Jeffrey Swanson is Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine.  He is a medical sociologist (PhD, Yale, 1985) with expertise in psychiatric epidemiology, mental health services effectiveness, and mental health law and policy studies.  Dr. Swanson is co-director of the UNC-Chapel Hill/Duke Postdoctoral Training Program in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Systems Research.  He is the author or co-author of over 150 research publications on topics including violence and severe mental illness, the impact of involuntary outpatient commitment law, and psychiatric advance directives. Dr. Swanson was principal investigator of the first major study of the implementation of psychiatric advance directive laws for adults with severe mental illness in the United States, funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  Dr. Swanson is the recipient of an Independent Research Scientist Career Award from the National Institute of Mental Health in support of his research program on violence and severe mental illness. He is a member of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mandated Community Treatment. Dr. Swanson directs research for the National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives. He is a key consultant and Methods Core Member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program on Public Health Law Research. He is Associate Editor of Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. Dr. Swanson has served as a consultant to policymakers at the state and national levels, public health care institutions, foundations, corporate research and legal firms.

Research Projects:

Recent Publications:

Appelbaum P & and Swanson JW (2010). Gun laws and mental illness: How sensible are the current restrictions? Psychiatric Services, 61, 652-654.

Burris S, Wagenaar AC, Swanson JW, Ibrahim JK, Wood J,   Mello MM . Making the case for laws that improve health: a framework for public health law research (2010). Milbank Quarterly 88(2), 169-210.

Swanson J, Swartz M, Van Dorn RA, Monahan J, McGuire TG, Steadman HJ, Robbins PC. Racial disparities in involuntary outpatient commitment: are they real?  Health Aff (Millwood).  2009 May-Jun;28(3):816-26.   Abstract

Swanson J. What would Mary Douglas do? A commentary on Kahan et al., "Cultural cognition and public policy: The case of outpatient commitment laws"  Law Hum Behav.  2009 May 22.   Abstract

Swanson JW, Swartz MS, Elbogen EB, Van Dorn RA, Wagner HR, Moser LA, Wilder C, Gilbert AR. Psychiatric advance directives and reduction of coercive crisis interventions. Journal of Mental Health. 2008 Jun;17(13):255-267.

Swanson JW, Swartz MS, Van Dorn RA, Volavka J, Monahan J, Stroup TS, McEvoy JP, Wagner HR, Elbogen EB, Lieberman JA. Comparison of antipsychotic medication effects on reducing violence in people with schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry. 2008 Jul;193:37-43.

Swanson JW, Van Dorn RA, Swartz MS, Smith A, Elbogen EB, Monahan J. Alternative pathways to violence in persons with schizophrenia: the role of childhood antisocial behavior problems. Law Hum Behav. 2008 Jun;32(3):228-40.   Abstract