Jeffrey W. Swanson, PhD, MA


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Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Department / Division:
Psychiatry / Social & Community Psychiatry
Brightleaf Sq Ste 23A
905 W Main St
Durham, NC 27701
Office Telephone:
(919) 682-4827
  • PhD, Yale University, 1985
  • MA, Yale University, 1980
Research Interests:
Jeffrey Swanson is Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine. He is a medical sociologist (PhD, Yale, 1985) with expertise in psychiatric epidemiology, mental health services effectiveness research, and mental health law and policy studies. He received the 2011 Carl Taube Award from the American Public Health Association and the 2010 Eugene C. Hargrove, MD Award from the North Carolina Psychiatric Foundation, both for outstanding career contributions to mental health research. Dr. Swanson is co-director of the UNC-Chapel Hill/Duke Postdoctoral Training Program in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Systems Research. He is a Faculty Fellow at the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. He also directs research for the National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives. Dr. Swanson is the author or co-author of over 180 publications on topics including violence and severe mental illness, the impact of involuntary outpatient commitment law, and psychiatric advance directives. He is currently principal investigator of a multi-site study on firearms laws, mental illness and prevention of violence, co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Program on Public Health Law Research (PHLR). He is a key consultant and member of the PHLR program's Methods Core. Dr. Swanson was also PI of the first major study of the implementation of psychiatric advance directive laws for adults with severe mental illness in the United States, funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Dr. Swanson was the recipient of an Independent Research Scientist Career Award from the National Institute of Mental Health in support of his research program on violence and severe mental illness. He was a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mandated Community Treatment. He served as Associate Editor of Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. Dr. Swanson has served as a consultant to policymakers at the state and national levels, public health care institutions, foundations, corporate research and legal firms.
Representative Publications:
  • Swartz, MS; Swanson, JW; Kim, M; Petrila, J. Use of outpatient commitment or related civil court treatment orders in five U.S. communities. Psychiatric Services. 2006;57:343-349.  Abstract
  • Swartz, MS; Wagner, HR; Swanson, JW; Elbogen, EB. Consumers' perceptions of the fairness and effectiveness of mandated community treatment and related pressures. Psychiatric Services. 2004;55:780-785.  Abstract
  • Swanson, J; Estroff, S; Swartz, M; Borum, R; Lachicotte, W; Zimmer, C; Wagner, R. Violence and severe mental disorder in clinical and community populations: the effects of psychotic symptoms, comorbidity, and lack of treatment. Psychiatry: interpersonal and biological processes. 1997;60:1-22.  Abstract
  • Swanson, JW; Holzer, CE; Ganju, VK; Jono, RT. Violence and psychiatric disorder in the community: evidence from the Epidemiologic Catchment Area surveys. Hospital and Community Psychiatry. 1990;41:761-770.  Abstract