PhD: Yale University
MSN: Pace University
AAS: Kingsborough Community College
BFA: Tufts University
View Curriculum Vitae
Research and Clinical Interests:
For more than ten years, I have been working with Latino immigrants as a bilingual, bicultural primary care provider and researcher in Latino mental health. My experience as an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Rutgers and mental health services researcher has given me a unique set of skills that can be applied to global health and health care disparities. In 2010, I completed my PhD at Yale University School of Arts and Sciences. My research, “Causal Beliefs about Depression among Ecuadorian, Dominican and Colombian immigrants,” analyzed how religious and supernatural causation beliefs influenced help-seeking behaviors, stigma and attitudes about treatment of depression. Building upon this research, I have investigated cultural and religious influences on help-seeking for depression among a subset of participants in a Robert Woods Johnson Diabetes prevention study. This area of research led to a subsequent pilot interventional study to address health care disparities in mental health treatment. “Improving Mental Health Literacy among Latino Immigrants in the Faith-Based Setting.” This research was a community-based pilot education and treatment engagement intervention for depression which combined Western bio -medicine and faith-based teachings.
In the area of global mental health, I recently completed an interdisciplinary study, "Healthcare of People with Serious Persistent Mental Illness in the Dominican Republic.” This research described the challenges to mental health service delivery in the Dominican Republic (DR) and stigma among health care professionals towards treating persons with mental illness. Currently, I am funded by Sigma Theta Tau International. The current investigation is a pilot study “Development of a CBT Interactive Voice Thread app to Improve Depression Treatment Outcomes among Dominican Primary Care Patients." Susan Caplan, Adrian Aguilar, Angelina Sosa, Patricia Reyna, which will be tested among Dominican primary care patients in Santo Domingo.
Professional and Community Activities:
- 9/2015 – ongoing. Mental Health Services. Committee Member. American Public Health Association, APHA
- 09/2015-ongoing. Communications Committee. Research Leadership Network. ANCC.
- 03/2015-ongoing National Association of Hispanic Nurses
- 09/2013-ongoing Transcultural Nursing Society
- 09/2014-ongoing Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science
- 01/2014-ongoing American Psychological Association
- 09/2013-ongoing Eastern Nursing Research Society
- 09/2012-ongoing International Collaboration for Community Health Nursing Research
- 01/2006-ongoing Member Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Zeta at-Large Chapter
- 01/1998-ongoing American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Professional Awards and Honors
- NIH Fogarty Institute Invited Trainee. Global mHealth Research Training Institute. U.S. National Institutes of Health's, Bethesda, Maryland, in June 2016. This short-term, scenario-based training promoted multidisciplinary research, implementation science and novel research methodologies to a cohort of researchers from diverse fields who are helping to lay the groundwork for future mHealth research projects and begin to build the evidence base for impactful technologies.
- Expert Witness. Appointed by The Honorable Judge Gregory Carro of the New York State Supreme Court as an Expert Witness for the defense in the manner of the People of the State of New York against Yocelyn Ortega. Yocelyn Ortega is a Dominican immigrant accused of murdering her two charges in her capacity as nanny. Dr. Caplan has been called to serve as an Expert Witness given her nationally recognized expertise in mental health services among Latino immigrants, stigma about mental health treatment, and religious beliefs that contribute to stigma as well as her recent research on mental health services in the Dominican Republic.
- 2011 Ad Hoc Reviewer. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Minority Health and Health Care Disparities, Special Emphasis Panel. 2011.
- 11/2015-ongoing. Rutgers School of Nursing, New Jersey, Ministry of Public Health, Dominican Republic. Principal Investigator. Development of a CBT Interactive Voice Thread app to Improve Depression Treatment Outcomes among Dominican Primary Care Patients." Susan Caplan, Adrian Aguilar, Angelina Sosa, Patricia Reyna, Tariana V. Little.
07/2014 – 07/2016. Rutgers School of Nursing, Robert Woods Johnson Medical School. Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey. Principal Investigator "Healthcare of People with Serious Persistent Mental Illness in the Dominican Republic."
09/2012-ongoing Rutgers School of Nursing, Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey. Principal Investigator. “Improving Mental Health Literacy among Latino Immigrants in the Faith-Based Setting,” is a community-based pilot study. This education and treatment engagement intervention facilitated by community health workers combines Western bio -medicine and faith-based teachings.
Papers, Abstracts, and Lectures
- Symposium Presentation. Mental Health Literacy: Why Should We Care and How Do We Assess It? ABCT's 50th Annual Convention to be held October 27 - 30, 2016 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York, NY.
- Podium Presentation. Susan Caplan. Mental Health Services in the Dominican Republic from the Perspective of Health Care Providers. American Public Health Association 143 Annual Meeting and Exposition, 2015. Chicago Illinois, November 3, 2015.
- Poster Presentation. Karen R. W. Lin, Susan Caplan, Kaila A. Queen, Ritu Nahaar, Jonathan Tsui, Debra Brouwer, Erica Clerjuste, Grismer Gonzalez and Javier Escobar.
The impact of Inter-Professional Collaboration on Global Health Education.
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Research Symposium at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ, June 30th, 2015.
- Podium Presentation. Susan Caplan. Mental Health Stigma among Interdisciplinary Health Care Practitioners in the Dominican Republic. Presented at the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS) Professional Development Workshop. Linking Data Systems and Professional Opportunities. Health and Human Services (HHS) National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, June 28-30th, 2015.
- Podium Presentation. Susan Caplan and Andrea Mendoza. Methods to Address Stigma about Mental Illness: El Buen Consejo (the Sound Advice) an Intervention Targeted to Latinos in the Faith-Based Setting, Presented at the 2014 Transcultural Nursing Society Conference, Charleston, South Carolina, October 23, 2014.
Podium Presentation. Susan Caplan. El Buen Consejo, an Analysis of Mental Health Literacy and Stigma among Latinos in the Faith-Based Setting. Presented at 2014 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research. September 18, 2014.
- Poster Presentation. Susan Caplan. A Pilot Feasibility Study of El Buen Consejo, a Mental Health Literacy and Treatment Engagement Intervention among Latinos in the Faith-Based Setting. Presented at National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 22nd NIMH Conference on Mental Health Services Research, Friday, April 25, 2014 at Natcher Auditorium on the campus of National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.
- Oral Presentation. Susan Caplan and Karen D’Alonzo. “Engaging Community Health Workers (CHWs) in CBPR: An Overview of the Training Process.” Presented at DePaul University, Master of Public Health Program Health Disparities and Social Justice Conference, 2014 A Focus on Latino Health. Chicago, Illinois, February 7, 2014.
Caplan, S., Little, T. V., Reyna, P., Sosa Lovera, A., Garces-King, J., Queen, K. & Nahar, R. (2016). Mental Health Services in the Dominican Republic from the Perspective of Health Care Providers. Global Public Health. On-line. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2016.1213308
Caplan, S., Little, T. V., Garces-King, J. (2016). Stigma about Mental Illness among Multidisciplinary Health Care Providers. International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice and Consultation, 5 (3), 196-206 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ipp0000057
Caplan, S. (2016). A Pilot Study of a Novel Method of Measuring Stigma about Depression Developed for Latinos in the Faith-based Setting." Community Mental Health Journal 52 (4) (online first). doi: 10.1007/s10597-016-0005-7)
- Caplan, S. & Buyske, S. (2015). Correlates of Depression, Help-Seeking and Self-Recognition of Depression among Dominican, Ecuadorian and Colombian Immigrant Primary Care Patients in the Northeastern United States to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 12(9), 10450-10474. doi:10.3390/ijerph120910450
- Caplan, S. & Cordero, C. (2015). Development of a Faith-Based Mental Health Literacy Program to Improve Treatment Engagement among Caribbean Latinos in the Northeastern United States of America. International Quarterly of Community Health Education, 35, 199-214.
Caplan, S. and Black, R. (2014) Evaluation of the Cross-Cultural Interview as Interdisciplinary Method of Cultural Competency Education. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, Vol 4 (4). 58-73. e-Version Online Published: January 17, 2014, Vol 4 (4). DOI: 10.5430/jnep.v4n4p58 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v4n4p58
Chapters in Books or Monographs
Caplan, S. & Munet-Vilaro, F. (2016). “Using Integrated Care to Treat Depression among Hispanic Populations” in Lorraine T. Benuto & William O’ Donohue (eds.) Enhancing Behavioral Health in Hispanic Populations: Eliminating Disparities Through Integrated Behavioral and Primary Care. Springer, Inc.: New York, NY
Caplan, S. Contributor. Chapter 2 Cultural Competence, and Chapter 7 Cultural Content in Domestic Violence Assessment. (2016) In Carolyn Jarvis (Seventh Ed.) Physical Examination and Health Assessment. Seventh Edition, Saunders: St. Louis Missouri.
Caplan, S. Culture (2015). In Jean Giddens (2nd Ed.) Concept-Based Nursing, First Edition. Mosby, St. Louis, MO.
Press Release of Conference Proceedings
July 15, 2014 - Dominican Today. "Rutgers University to help mentally ill stay off the streets." Reports on the results of GAIA funded research which included a focus group conducted in Padre Billini Hospital in Santo Domingo to assess mental health services in the Dominican Republic.