The BRIDGE Trial:
Proactive Psychiatry Consultation and Case Management for Patients With Cancer

Individuals with serious mental illness experience markedly increased cancer mortality due to inequities in cancer treatment. Psychiatric care at the time of cancer diagnosis may prevent disruptions in cancer care yet targeted interventions have not been developed or tested for this population. A collaborative care intervention combining proactive psychiatry consultation and case management has the potential to decrease disparities in cancer treatment and improve cancer outcomes in this underserved population. This is the first clinical trial targeting people with serious mental illness and cancer.

Principal Investigator: Kelly Irwin, MD, MPH

Aim 1:
To assess the impact of a Proactive Psychiatry and Social Work Consultation on cancer care

Aim 2:
To assess the impact of a Proactive Psychiatry and Social Work Consultation on patient and caregiver-reported outcomes

Aim 3:
To identify potential barriers and facilitators to implementing and disseminating a Proactive Psychiatry and Social Work Consultation intervention

To learn more, please contact us at mbarry18@mgh.harvard.edu or 617-643-6087 or visit ClinicalTrials.gov

National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health/K08 Career Development Award.

We conduct person-centered research to bridge the divide between cancer and mental illness.

American Cancer Society

Principal Investigator: Efren Flores, MD

Goals of Project:
  • To improve access to cancer care by tailoring an educational tool used for Lung Cancer Screening
  • Shared Decision Making to the needs of individuals with serious mental illness.
  • To provide education about the computed tomography (CAT scan) component of Lung Cancer Screening and tobacco cessation.

Merck Foundation Alliance for Patient-Centered Care

Principal Investigator: Sanja Percac-Lima, MD, MPH

Goals of Project:
  • To develop and evaluate patient navigation for patients from community health centers with a new cancer diagnosis and improve the integration of psychosocial care.
  • To compare the impact of patient navigation vs enhanced usual care on the timeliness of cancer treatment, adherence with cancer care, and patient experience.

The Trefler Program at the Kraft Center for Community Health

Principal Investigator: Kelly Irwin, MD, MPH

Goals of Project:
  • To increase access to timely, high quality cancer and supportive care for patients with serious mental illness (SMI) through two initiatives:
  1. Expanding access to integrated mental health and oncology consultations for patients with SMI not currently accessing cancer care and their clinicians
  2. Increasing capacity for the collaborative care and community engagement program, a team-based approach (psychiatry, social work, community health worker) to proactively identify patients, track outcomes, and increase patient engagement and continuity of care from hospital to the community.

Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute Engagement Award

Principal Investigator: Kelly Irwin, MD, MPH

Goals of Project:
  • To develop a community network to engage patients, caregivers, and stakeholders with the shared purpose of reducing disparities in cancer mortality for patients with SMI
  • To build capacity for patients, caregivers, advocates and other stakeholders to partner in patient-centered outcomes research dedicated to this underserved population
  • To utilize the community network and partnership with the Department of Mental Health to adapt and disseminate best practices targeted to this population

Selected Publications