Sean M. O'Dell, PhD
Research to Practice in Pediatric Behavioral Health
Within the last 40 years, there has been a proliferation of high quality research on both pharmacological and psychosocial interventions to improve mental health, health-related behaviors, and academic functioning of youth at home, school, and in the community. However, despite the prevalence of these problems within the population and the ever-growing list of empirically supported treatments, most families are not able to access high quality services in their community and youth living in rural areas are especially underserved. In order to close this research-to-practice gap, more work is needed which explicitly targets improving problem identification, treatment outcomes, and cost-effectiveness of care within the pediatric population in real-world settings.
In order to improve these domains, the first general strategy I use is to engage in research to develop sustainable, population-based systems of care in medical settings and schools. Integrated care is an emerging service delivery model that involves behavioral health providers who practice on-site and in close collaboration with primary care physicians within pediatric primary care practices in order to deliver comprehensive health care. The pediatric integrated primary care (IPC) team recently completed an initial pilot project within three Community Service Practice Line (CPSL) sites within the Geisinger system. Building off the success of this project, we have begun expansion into additional sites and redoubled efforts to rigorously evaluate operational (e.g., continuity of care between primary care and Emergency Department, behavioral health screening, improvements in access to care relative to other service delivery models), clinical (e.g., general clinical outcome measures, outcomes from transdiagnostic group therapy interventions, medication adherence), and cost-effectiveness (e.g., potential for cost savings using integrated care, factors affecting revenue generation for providers, financial sustainability of integrated practice) outcomes. We also envision and are taking steps towards an iterative process of program development to improve the continuity of services across the lifespan, including a milieu of preventive services within the 0-5 age range. Future work will involve partnering with school and community stakeholders to improve systemic connection and collaboration with providers within the Geisinger system.
To improve the overall quality of behavioral health services, I take the general approach of identifying the most potent and malleable processes of change to improve a wide range of valued treatment outcomes while maintaining depth of explanation across multiple levels of analysis. In my work to date, I have investigated mechanisms of action in psychosocial treatments for youth with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and lead a project to establish standards of care for the screening, evaluation, and treatment of ADHD in pediatric populations for the purposes of improving diagnostic accuracy, treatment outcomes, and cost-efficiency. I also collaborate with clinicians and investigators of diverse training backgrounds within the Geisinger system to identify salient “inside the skin” and “outside the skin” factors affecting the wellbeing of diverse patient populations in order to empower providers to predict and influence developmental trajectories for the better.
Residency , Munroe-Meyer Institute- University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2013
PhD, Lehigh University, 2013
Fellowship, Geisinger Medical Center, 2014