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Michele Easter, PhD

Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Division: 
Social and Community Psychiatry
Category: 
Office: 905 West Main Street, DUMC Box 3071, Durham, NC 27710
Campus Mail: DUMC DUMC 3071, Durham, NC 27710

At the Services Effectiveness Research Program, I am a co-investigator, analyst, and manager for projects on mental health/substance use services and policy research. Our group conducts longitudinal studies of criminal justice outcomes and crisis-driven service utilization to assess the effects of policies (e.g., mental health-based firearms disqualification) and services (e.g., medication-assisted treatment for substance dependence). We also collaborate with community partners to study and promote the use of psychiatric advance directives. My research interests center on the conceptualization of illness and recovery by people with behavioral disorders, specifically the extent to which they endorse and identify with biologically-based explanatory models. My dissertation was on how women with eating disorders understand and interpret the idea that genes play a role in eating disorders.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, 2010

Publications

Robertson, Allison G., Michele M. Easter, Hsiu-Ju Lin, Dalia Khoury, Joshua Pierce, Jeffrey Swanson, and Marvin Swartz. “Gender-specific participation and outcomes among jail diversion clients with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.” J Subst Abuse Treat 115 (August 2020): 108035. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2020.108035.

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Swanson, Jeffrey W., Michele M. Easter, Kelly Alanis-Hirsch, Charles M. Belden, Michael A. Norko, Allison G. Robertson, Linda K. Frisman, Hsiu-Ju Lin, Marvin S. Swartz, and George F. Parker. “Criminal Justice and Suicide Outcomes with Indiana's Risk-Based Gun Seizure Law.” J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 47, no. 2 (June 2019): 188–97. https://doi.org/10.29158/JAAPL.003835-19.

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Swanson, Jeffrey, Michele Easter, Mira Brancu, Mira VA Mid-Atlantic MIRECC Workgroup, and John A. Fairbank. “Informing Federal Policy on Firearm Restrictions for Veterans with Fiduciaries: Risk Indicators in the Post-Deployment Mental Health Study.” Adm Policy Ment Health 45, no. 4 (July 2018): 673–83. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-018-0881-y.

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Robertson, Allison G., Michele M. Easter, HsiuJu Lin, Linda K. Frisman, Jeffrey W. Swanson, and Marvin S. Swartz. “Medication-Assisted Treatment for Alcohol-Dependent Adults With Serious Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Involvement: Effects on Treatment Utilization and Outcomes.” Am J Psychiatry 175, no. 7 (July 1, 2018): 665–73. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.17060688.

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Robertson, Allison G., Michele M. Easter, Hsiu-Ju Lin, Linda K. Frisman, Jeffrey W. Swanson, and Marvin S. Swartz. “Associations between pharmacotherapy for opioid dependence and clinical and criminal justice outcomes among adults with co-occurring serious mental illness.” J Subst Abuse Treat 86 (March 2018): 17–25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2017.12.003.

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Easter, Michele M., Jeffrey W. Swanson, Allison G. Robertson, Lorna L. Moser, and Marvin S. Swartz. “Facilitation of Psychiatric Advance Directives by Peers and Clinicians on Assertive Community Treatment Teams.” Psychiatr Serv 68, no. 7 (July 1, 2017): 717–23. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201600423.

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Swanson, J. W., M. A. Norko, H. J. Lin, K. Alanis-Hirsch, L. K. Frisman, M. V. Baranoski, M. M. Easter, A. G. Robertson, M. S. Swartz, and R. J. Bonnie. “Implementation and effectiveness of connecticut's risk-based gun removal law: Does it prevent suicides?” Law and Contemporary Problems 80, no. 2 (January 1, 2017): 179–208.

Scholars@Duke

Swanson, Jeffrey W., Michele M. Easter, Allison G. Robertson, Marvin S. Swartz, Kelly Alanis-Hirsch, Daniel Moseley, Charles Dion, and John Petrila. “Gun Violence, Mental Illness, And Laws That Prohibit Gun Possession: Evidence From Two Florida Counties.” Health Aff (Millwood) 35, no. 6 (June 1, 2016): 1067–75. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2016.0017.

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Robertson, Allison G., Jeffrey W. Swanson, Hsiuju Lin, Michele M. Easter, Linda K. Frisman, and Marvin S. Swartz. “Influence of Criminal Justice Involvement and Psychiatric Diagnoses on Treatment Costs Among Adults With Serious Mental Illness.” Psychiatr Serv 66, no. 9 (September 2015): 907–9. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201500134.

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Easter, Michele. “Interpreting genetics in the context of eating disorders: evidence of disease, not diversity.” Sociol Health Illn 36, no. 6 (July 2014): 840–55. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12108.

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