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Partnership in Implementation Science for Geriatric Mental Health (PRISM)


About Us

The Partnership in Implementation Science for Geriatric Mental Health (PRISM) projects to establish a hub to integrate implementation research for scaling up sustainable, evidence-based mental health interventions with research capacity-building activities for East Asia. The mental health implementation research hub, based in Thailand and including China, will focus on reducing the gap in treatment and support for community-residing older adults in general, and elders with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in particular.  Specific aims are to:

  1. empirically test a culturally adapted Getting-To-Outcomes (GTO) implementation support model aimed at enhancing the delivery of an evidence-based physical exercise intervention for narrowing the treatment gap for older persons with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in Thailand;

  2. build individual and institutional capacity for the implementation of mental health intervention research in Thailand and China;

  3. improve Thai and Chinese policy makers’ capacity for using research for evidence informed decision making; and

  4. develop a knowledge base for shared learning among stakeholders within each country and with other countries through NIMH and other regional NIMH hubs. 


Recent News


The project is led by Drs. Hongtu Chen, Sue Levkoff, and Komatra Chuengsatiansup. 

  • Hongtu Chen, PhD (Contact PI) based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, is a senior research scientist and assistant professor at Department of Psychiatry of Harvard Medical School. 

  • Professor Sue Levkoff is a professor and endowed chair at the College of Social Work in University of South Carolina.

  • Dr. Komatra Chuengsatiansup, MD, PhD is the director of Society and Health Institute, Ministry of Public Health of Thailand.

Hub activity sites

Currently the project involves two operational sites:

  • One is in Bangkok, Thailand, at the Society and Health Institute (SHI), Ministry of Public Health, led by Dr. Komatra Chuengsatiansup.  

  • The other is in Shanghai, China, through the Shanghai Mental Health Center (SHMC), led by Dr. Yanling He.

Implementation/scale-up research study

The implementation/scale evaluation study will be a randomized controlled trial to compare the intervention arm that implements the culturally-adapted GTO model (GTO-ThAI) to deliver support for the better implementation of evidence-based physical exercise intervention, with a control arm, which receives usual top-down administrative instruction for implementing the same exercise intervention. Over the five-year course, we aim to tailor an evidence-based physical exercise intervention (EBPEI) to fit with Thai local social, cultural, and policy context, while developing the GTO-ThAI implementation support model through a pre-implementation case study and formative evaluation. We will evaluate implementation strategies and clinical outcomes through a hybrid Type 3 randomized trial to test effectiveness of the GTO-ThAI implementation support strategy for the delivery of EBPEI, compared with the existing standard administrative procedures for delivering the same EBPEI. Findings from the study will be used for developing policy recommendations with tools and performance indicators.

Research capacity building

The PRISM Capacity Building activities will include establishing networks and Communities of Learning for sharing and dissemination of learning products, first within Thailand and China, and second, within countries targeted by other NIMH-funded scale-up hubs; providing a comprehensive research training program to enhance the skills of health services researchers to conduct evidence-based mental health scale-up implementation research; conducting a series of workshops to enhance the skills of health care leaders and policy makers in using evidence informed decision making (EIDM) for policy development and program planning; and compiling training materials, tools, and other project resources for broader national and regional dissemination.


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