ServiceNet’s John Knutsen Helps Turn Research into Evidence-Based Action

ServiceNet’s Director of Research John Knutsen collects and analyzes data that can help foster clinical best practices and measurable success.   

John has always had an interest in psychology and research. His dedication to the field was solidified by growing up with friends whose families had individuals with mental health and developmental challenges. Watching them grapple to find services, or services that were a good fit, was eye-opening to John.   

“Seeing those struggles, I wanted to understand how to better provide services and interventions for people that need them,” John says. “And having empirical evidence to support and to innovate any clinical work being done is fundamental to providing the best care to those who need it.”  

John collaborates across all ServiceNet’s programs to make just this kind of difference. John is currently working on several research projects involving ServiceNet’s Prevention and Recovery in Early Psychosis (PREP) Program. PREP offers comprehensive outpatient treatment for young adults between the ages of 16 to 30 years old who have had an experience of psychosis within the previous three years.  

Knutsen and the PREP team are completing a longitudinal study examining psychiatric hospitalization rates for PREP individuals. Hospitalization rates are a key concern because they reflect a critical point where individuals need that level of intensive care.   

“We’re currently looking at how PREP individuals have fared with respect to inpatient visits to psychiatric hospital care over the past four years,” John says. “We’re also working on a project to look at how people who enter PREP fare based on a particular clinical scale that measures wellbeing, and we’re interested to see how individuals respond to the program in terms of how they score on that scale.”  

A relatively new program, PREP is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health through a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant. It is the only program of its kind in western Massachusetts. The research, though still in process, is showing overwhelmingly positive results.  

“We’re doing something in PREP that is innovative and unique,” John says. “And the data is showing that we are having a profound impact in terms of reducing symptoms and improving quality of life.”  

 John will present this research-in-progress at the 2023 International Conference on Early Intervention in Mental Health in Switzerland this summer.  

“We want to cast as wide a net as possible, both in our work and our sharing it,” John says. “This will help ServiceNet continue to be as innovative and impactful as possible.” 

Interested in employment within our diverse network of mental health and human service programs throughout western Massachusetts? See our current job openings and apply today.

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