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The Power of Using Qualitative Data in Suicide Prevention Research

Thursday , June 06, 2019 12:30 PM

This podcast reviews qualitative research methods for listeners, offering examples of qualitative design for suicide prevention research and evaluation. Presenter Brooke A. Levandowski, Ph.D, MPA, will review qualitative methodologies, outlining a framework for evaluating qualitative suicide prevention in primary care settings, and highlighting the additional research power available through qualitative designs. Presenter Lisham Ashrafioun, Ph.D. will review his use of qualitative research methods, including qualitative designs and data to evaluate clinical interventions.

Brooke A. Levandowski, PhD, MPA is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Senior Informaticist in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University.  Dr. Levandowski’s research seeks to enhance patient-provider communication and thereby improve stigmatized health outcomes through understanding the influence of social determinants of health on health decision making, primarily in the field of reproductive and sexual health. Dr. Levandowski spent four years as a Health Science Specialist at the VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center conducting research on VHA providers’ and Veterans’ perceptions of suicide prevention interventions in primary care and the use of safety planning interventions with Veterans at high risk for suicide; conducting program evaluations; and training Postdoctoral Fellows in the use of qualitative data for suicide prevention research.  She received a Masters in Public Administration from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health. 

Lisham Ashrafioun, PhD, is Senior Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester and Research Investigator at the VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center. His research has spanned the distinct and overlapping areas of chronic pain, suicide prevention, and substance use – particularly opioid misuse. Dr. Ashrafioun’s research interests lie in assessing nonpharmacological pain management approaches, including combining various forms of self-management strategies, on physical functioning and vulnerability of suicide-related outcomes. Dr. Ashrafioun has also led several large-scale studies of the suicide risk of chronic pain patients from national survey and administrative medical record data, to identify innovative interventions and targets to optimize pain management and suicide prevention efforts in patients experiencing pain. Dr. Ashrafioun received his PhD in clinical psychology from Bowling Green State University, and completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center as part of the VA’s Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment program.