Gwen Lapham, PhD, MPH, MSW, joined Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in 2013 as an addictions health services researcher. Since then, she has capitalized on her prior social work and health services training to do impactful research on evidence-based primary care for unhealthy substance use, including alcohol, cannabis, and opioids. She has recently begun making strides in understanding cannabis use among primary care patients, including medical use and use among prenatal women.
Dr. Lapham recently completed the CATALyST K12 Washington Learning Health System Program funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. In the program, she partnered with Kaiser Permanente Washington health system leaders and with KPWHRI’s Center for Accelerating Care Transformation to address gaps in the quality of behavioral health care for children and adolescents by developing and testing an integrated approach to adolescent mental health. She expects this work to lead to new evidence for effective implementation of adolescent mental health integrated in primary care.
She is also a co-investigator of the Primary Care Opioid Use Disorders Treatment, or PROUD trial, a pragmatic implementation trial of nurse care management for treatment of opioid use disorders in primary care, as well as the Health Systems node of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network. Dr. Lapham’s research projects specific to cannabis include:
Prior to working at KPWHRI, Dr. Lapham focused on qualitative and quantitative evaluation of preventive alcohol interventions in medical settings at the Veterans Health Administration in Seattle.
Implementation research; quality measurement
Screening and brief intervention; mental health quality measurement
Bradley KA, Chavez LJ, Lapham GT, Williams EC, Achtmeyer CE, Rubinsky AD,Hawkins EJ, Saitz R, Kivlahan DR. When quality measures undermine quality: bias in a quality measure for follow-up for alcohol misuse. Psychiatr Serv. 2013 Oct;64(10):1018-25. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201200449. Epub 2013 Jul 15. PubMed
Chavez LJ, Bradley KA, Lapham GT, Wickizer TM, Chisolm DJ. Identifying problematic substance use in a national sample of adolescents using frequency questions. J Am Board Fam Med. 2019;32(4):550-558. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2019.04.180284. PubMed
New research examines providers’ notes to understand patients’ cannabis use and health conditions.
KP Washington, UW, WSU, and the VA join forces in a new research training program aimed at transforming health care.
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Routinely asking about cannabis use can better serve patients by helping clinicians start conversations about risks and benefits.
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Dr. Cara Lewis reflects on using implementation science to integrate patient-reported symptoms into behavioral health care.