Journal of Medical Systems

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 49–62 | Cite as

Design and Development of a Mental Health Assessment and Intervention System

  • Ramesh Farzanfar
  • Allison Stevens
  • Louis Vachon
  • Robert Friedman
  • Steven E. Locke
Original Paper


Mental health disorders are the leading cause of disability and functional impairment in the United States (1 in 5). The negative effect of mental health disorders is felt both in the personal and public lives of the affected individuals, particularly in the workplace where it adversely impacts productivity. Only a small fraction of the affected people in the work force seeks help. The cost to employers and the economy of these untreated individuals is staggering. Some employers have tried to address employees’ emotional well-being by establishing Employee Assistance Programs. Yet, even these programs do not sufficiently address existing barriers to the detection and treatment of mental health disorders in the workplace. This paper describes the design of an automated workplace program that uses an Interactive, computer-assisted telephonic system (Interactive Voice Response or IVR) to assess workers for a variety of mental health disorders and subsequently refers untreated and inadequately treated workers to appropriate treatment settings.


System Design Automated assessment of mental health IVR systems Workplace productivity 



This study was funded by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramesh Farzanfar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Allison Stevens
    • 1
  • Louis Vachon
    • 3
  • Robert Friedman
    • 1
  • Steven E. Locke
    • 4
  1. 1.Medical Information Systems UnitBoston University Medical CampusBostonUSA
  2. 2.MISU, 560 Harrison Avenue, Suite 404BostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryBoston University Medical CampusBostonUSA
  4. 4.Center for Clinical Computing and Department of PsychiatryBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA

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