Research

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Elizabeth Wharff, PhD

Elizabeth Wharff PhD
Department:
Psychiatry
Hospital Title:
Clinician Researcher in Psychiatry
Academic Title:
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
Suicide Prevention
Contact:
617-355-7871
Contact Via Email
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Research Overview

Dr. Elizabeth Wharff’s research has focused on prevention of suicide through the development and testing of screening and intervention protocols designed to reduce suicide risk in child/adolescent populations.  Additionally, she has worked to improve the quality of care in emergency mental health by researching pediatric anger management, and emergency room boarding.

Dr. Wharff developed the Family Based Crisis Intervention (FBCI) for suicidal adolescents that has been shown to reduce suicidality and prevent psychiatric hospitalization.  FBCI is a single session intervention performed in the Emergency Department, designed to provide treatment at the time of crisis, instead of relying on psychiatric hospitalization. The intervention’s modules include treatment with both the child/adolescent and the family members in the Emergency Department. Dr. Wharff and her research team have also developed a smartphone application (app), with complementary modalities for the child/adolescent and the caregiver, that is designed to provide rapid access to a personalized set of therapeutic skills for the potentially suicidal adolescent. Dr. Wharff’s team has also worked with several other sites nationally to develop suicide screening tools.  They developed and validated the ASQ (Ask Suicide Questions) screen, a 4-item questionnaire, to screen both medical and psychiatric patients being admitted to the Emergency Department. This screening tool is now being tested in inpatient medical/surgical and outpatient primary care settings.

About Elizabeth Wharff

Dr. Elizabeth Wharff is a Clinician Researcher in Psychiatry.  She is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School.

Publications

Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles
  1. Stanley IH, Horowitz LM, Bridge JA, Wharff EA, Pao M, Teach SJ. Bullying and Suicide Risk Among Pediatric Emergency Department Patients. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2016 Jun; 32(6):347-51.
  2. Ross AM, White E, Powell D, Nelson S, Horowitz L, Wharff E. To Ask or Not to Ask? Opinions of Pediatric Medical Inpatients about Suicide Risk Screening in the Hospital. J Pediatr. 2016 Mar; 170:295-300.
  3. Stanley IH, Snyder D, Westen S, Ballard ED, Teach SJ, Kapetanovic S, Wharff EA, Bridge JA, Ginnis K, Pao M, Horowitz LM. Self-Reported Recent Life Stressors and Risk of Suicide in Pediatric Emergency Department Patients. Clin Pediatr Emerg Med. 2013 Mar; 14(1):35-40.
  4. Horowitz LM, Bridge JA, Teach SJ, Ballard E, Klima J, Rosenstein DL, Wharff EA, Ginnis K, Cannon E, Joshi P, Pao M. Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ): a brief instrument for the pediatric emergency department. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012 Dec; 166(12):1170-6.
  5. Wharff EA, Ginnis KM, Ross AM. Family-based crisis intervention with suicidal adolescents in the emergency room: a pilot study. Soc Work. 2012 Apr; 57(2):133-43.
  6. Ballard ED, Bosk A, Snyder D, Pao M, Bridge JA, Wharff EA, Teach SJ, Horowitz L. Patients' opinions about suicide screening in a pediatric emergency department. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2012 Jan; 28(1):34-8.
  7. Wharff EA, Ginnis KB, Ross AM, Blood EA. Predictors of psychiatric boarding in the pediatric emergency department: implications for emergency care. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2011 Jun; 27(6):483-9.
  8. Mansbach JM, Wharff E, Austin SB, Ginnis K, Woods ER. Which psychiatric patients board on the medical service? Pediatrics. 2003 Jun; 111(6 Pt 1):e693-8.
  9. Ellison JM, Wharff EA. More than a gateway: the role of the emergency psychiatry service in the community mental health network. Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1985 Feb; 36(2):180-5.
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