MHAPPS – Mental Health Among Patients, Providers, and Staff Study

At a glance

Funded by: PCORI 2020-2024
Principal Investigator(s): Anna Radin
Research Team:
Research Setting: primary care, pediatrics, emergency department of a large health system in rural Idaho partnered with Idaho crisis line


COVID-19 led to an increase in mental health problems among the general public and healthcare workers. Reasons for this increase include social isolation, anxiety, and stress related to COVID-19. Side view of a nurse in scrubs sitting with her head down, leaning her arms on her knees and hands clasped. She looks tired. A hospital wall or door is in the background.

The Mental Health Among Patients, Providers, and Staff (MHAPPS) study examines anxiety, loneliness, depression, stress, and suicidal thoughts among patients and healthcare workers in a large rural health system within a state that was severely affected by COVID-19. The study also compares two versions of Caring Contacts text message support for patients and healthcare workers with mental distress – one with an introductory phone call and one without.


  • Clinical trial participants included 331 patients and 335 healthcare providers/staff with mental distress.
  • There were no significant differences in loneliness at 6 months by treatment arm in either stratum.
  • Study concluded that including an initial phone call added operational complexity without significantly improving the effectiveness of the Caring Contacts program.
  • This study is continuing to collect longitudinal outcomes through 2024.


  • Radin, A. K., Shaw, J., Brown, S. P., Torres, J., Harper, M., Flint, H., Fouts, T., McCue, E., Skeie, A., Peña, C., Youell, J., Doty-Jones, A., Wilson, J., Flinn, L., Austin, G., Chan, K. C. G., Zheng, Z., Fruhbauerova, M., Walton, M., … Comtois, K. A. (2023). Comparative effectiveness of two versions of a caring contacts intervention in healthcare providers, staff, and patients for reducing loneliness and mental distress: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, S0165-0327(23)00365-8.