Mizzou Sleep Research Lab
The Mizzou Sleep Research Lab investigates the mechanisms underlying normal and pathological sleep, the link between sleep and cognition, the daily variability inherent in sleep and sleep-related behaviors and the efficacy and effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral interventions to treat insomnia in diverse populations.
Predicting and controlling aggression on the part of psychiatric inpatients
This research program is currently underway at the State Hospital at Fulton, where the department operates a forensic fellowship program. The Fulton campus includes a 200-bed, maximum-security forensic hospital, the only one of its kind in Missouri.
Niels Beck, PhD, coordinates this effort and. Studies are being conducted that involve abstracting data from hospital records of highly assaultive patients, including seclusion/restraint records, and tracking the types of medications used to control these behaviors. The goal is to develop medication algorithms for the management of aggressive behavior.
Additional investigations are underway that examine differences in staff/patient interactional patterns in highly assaultive vs. non-assaultive patient samples, the frequency of abuse and neglect in the family histories of these patient groups and a genetic study that targets several polymorphisms of genes thought to play a role in the development of hyper-emotionality and aggressive behavior. Residents in the second and fourth years, as well as forensic fellows, have an opportunity to work with Beck on these projects.
Studies of Recidivism and Length of Stay (LOS) in Acute Psychiatric Hospitals
Howard Houghton, MD, focuses on the patient population at the Missouri University Psychiatric Center (MUPC), a 60-bed inpatient facility owned and operated by University of Missouri Health and staffed by Department of Psychiatry faculty.
Current work on LOS involves several samples of patients hospitalized at MUPC and uses multivariate statistical modeling methods to help staff predict patient LOS and recidivism. In this regard, data are being collected from patient medical and outpatient service records, abstracting data regarding patient demographic characteristics, diagnosis and various circumstances surrounding the reason for admission.
Future studies are planned in this area that will involve tracking patient attendance in outpatient treatment settings, emergency room visits and other proxy measures of adjustment following discharge.