Gum, Amber, PhD
Dr. Gum is Associate Professor in the Department of Mental Health Law & Policy, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, with a joint appointment in the Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health. Dr. Gum conducts research on mental health services for older adults and medical patients; teaches classes in behavioral health services and public health; and engages in community and professional service.
- 2002 - PhD - Clinical Psychology - University of Kansas
- 1997 - MA - Psychology - Wake Forest University
- 1995 - BA - Psychology, Honors College - Southwest Missouri State University (renamed Missouri State University in 2005)
Dr. Gum aims to improve well-being for older adults, especially those with depressive symptoms, through research to:
- Facilitate mental health service use for older adults with mental health needs; and
- Integrate mental health services and behavioral interventions into service sectors that older adults frequent.
Facilitating mental health service use
In Dr. Gum’s studies of service use, she has found that many older adults use psychotropic medications, although inconsistently. They often prefer behavioral interventions, but rarely use them in actual practice. Providing advice and multi-component strategies (logistical, mental health knowledge, attitudes, social) may help adults engage in mental health services (Greene et al., 2016).
Integrating mental health services
In Dr. Gum’s research to integrate mental health services into other service sectors, she emphasizes delivering behavioral interventions that are effective, efficient, and accessible. She has conducted this research across service sectors (primary care, aging services, churches), working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders. Studies include:
- Brief behavioral activation for migrant home care workers and the older adults to whom they provide care, part of a Fulbright award to Israel (under review).
- Brief behavioral activation for older primary care patients that, in pilot research, improved depressive and anxiety symptoms, functioning, and activity level, after one visit and three brief telephone calls (Gum et al., 2016).
- Florida BRITE Project (PI: Dr. Lawrence Schonfeld), a statewide, substance misuse program for older adults that incorporates screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) delivered in diverse settings (e.g., primary care, emergency departments, aging services) and efficiently reduces risky substance misuse (Schonfeld et al., 2015).
- Home-based depression care management for aging services clients, incorporating concrete communication strategies that facilitated collaboration with primary care providers in a pilot study (Gum, Greene, et al., 2013; Gum, Dautovich, et al., 2014).
- Holistic wellness program for older adults in churches collaboratively designed with church leaders and older adults (Gum, Watson, et al., 2012).
Dr. Gum’s and others’ research has found that older adults who are more hopeful (actively pursuing meaningful goals) tend to have better physical, mental, and social outcomes (Gum, in press; Gum, Shiovitz-Ezra, & Ayalon, 2017). Pursuing meaningful goals is, in fact, a central theme of the behavioral interventions in Dr. Gum’s research and training.
To conduct her research, Dr. Gum has received funding as Principal Investigator from the National Institute of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (subcontract), Retirement Research Foundation, Institute for Optimal Aging, and USF internal grants programs. Dr. Gum has collaborated on grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Science Foundation, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In 2015-2016, Dr. Gum was a U.S. Fulbright Core Scholar to Bar-Ilan University in Israel.
Discussing psychotropic medications
Because of growing concerns regarding prescription medication use with older adults, Dr. Gum has become interested in re-evaluating the assumed evidence base for psychotropic medications. She has written a personal account of her experience encountering research that indicates that psychotropic medications are probably more harmful and less helpful than previously believed. She wrote this paper to urge others to: 1) seek divergent opinions regarding this issue; and 2) engage in empathic, open-minded discourse (Gum, 2015; accepted version of manuscript available here for free).
- Comorbidity of Mental and Physical Disorders (PHC 6035/MHS 6900), part of the MPH Concentration in Behavioral Health.
- Behavioral Healthcare Services for Older Adults (MHS 3069), part of the BS in Behavioral Healthcare.
- Introduction to Research in Behavioral and Community Sciences (IDS 1505), part of the BS in Behavioral Healthcare.
- Dr. Gum invites students to contact her about becoming involved in her research. She values involving trainees and has published 21 peer-reviewed journal articles with 17 different trainees.
- Dr. Gum is a certified trainer in Problem Solving Therapy.
For a complete list of peer-reviewed journal articles, please see NCBI My Bibliography
Gum, A. M. (in press). Promoting hope in older adults. In S. J. Lopez and M. W. Gallagher (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Hope. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gum, A. M., Shiovitz-Ezra, S., & Ayalon, L. (2017). Longitudinal associations of hopelessness and loneliness in older adults: Results from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. International Psychogeriatrics, May 25 epub: 1-9, doi: 10.1017.S1041610217000904
Gum, A. M., Schonfeld, L., Tyler, S., Fishleder, S., & Guerra, L. (2016). One-visit behavioral intervention for older primary care patients with mild-moderate depressive symptoms: A pilot study. Southern Medical Journal, 109, 442-447. doi: 10.1017.S1041610217000904
Fishleder, S., Gum, A. M., King-Kallimanis, B., & Schonfeld, L. (2016). Trajectories of depressive symptoms in community-dwelling older adults: A six-month longitudinal study with monthly assessment. Journal of Affective Disorders, 198, 171–177. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.02.058
Greene, J. A., Bina, R., & Gum, A. M. (2016). Interventions to increase retention in mental health services: A systematic review. Psychiatric Services. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.201400591
Gum, A. M. (2015). Changing my mind: One professor’s story of rethinking psychotropic medication. Journal of Medicine and the Person, 13(3), 187-193. DOI: 10.1007/s12682-015-0213-x
Gum, A. M., Dautovich, N. D., Greene, J., Hirsch, A., & Schonfeld, L. (2015). Improving home-based providers’ communication to primary care providers to enhance care coordination. Aging and Mental Health, 19(10), 921-31. PMID: 25401276; DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2014.977772
Schonfeld, L., Hazlett, R. W., Hedgecock, D. K., Duchene, D. M., Burns, L. V., & Gum, A. M. (2015). Screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment for older adults with substance misuse. American Journal of Public Health, 105, 205-211. PMID: 24832147; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301859
Gum, A. M., Hirsch, A., Dautovich, N. D., Ferrante, S., Schonfeld, L. (2014). Six-month utilization of psychotherapy by older adults with depressive symptoms. Community Mental Health Journal, 50(7), 759-64. PMID: 24481984; PMCID: PMC4197899; DOI: 10.1007/s10597-014-9704-0
Gum, A. M., Greene, J. A., DeMuth, A., & Dautovich, N. D. (2013). Primary care physicians’ attitudes regarding collaborating with home-based depression care managers. Home Health Care Management and Practice, 25, 196-202. DOI: 10.1177/1084822313480178
Gum, A. M., Watson, M. A., Smith, B. A., Briscoe, R. B., Goldsmith, J., & Henley, B. (2012). Collaborative design of a church-based, multidimensional senior wellness program by older adults, church leaders, and researchers. Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging, 24, 213-234. DOI: 10.1080/15528030.2012.634758
Gum, A. M., Iser, L., King-Kallimanis, B. L., Petkus, A., DeMuth, A., & Schonfeld, L. (2011). Six-month longitudinal patterns of mental health treatment utilization by older adults with depressive symptoms. Psychiatric Services, 62(11), 1353-60. PMID: 122211216; PMCID: PMC4199202 DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.62.11.1353
Gum, A. M., Iser, L., Petkus, A. (2010). Behavioral health service utilization and preferences of older adults receiving home-based aging services. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 18(6), 491-501. PMID: 21217560 DOI: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181c29495.
Gum, A.M., *Dautovich, N. D., *Greene, J., *Hirsch (DeMuth), A., & Schonfeld, L. (in press). Improving home-based providers' communication to primary care providers to enhance care coordination. Aging and Mental Health. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2014.977772
Schonfeld, L., Hazlett, R. W., Hedgecock, D. K., Duchene, D. M., Burns, L. V., & Gum, A. M. (2015). Screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment for older adults with substance misuse. American Journal of Public Health, 105, 205-211. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301859
Gum, A. M., *Hirsch (DeMuth), A., *Dautovich, N. D., Ferrante, S., & Schonfeld, L. (2014). Six-month utilization of psychotherapy by older adults with depressive symptoms. Community Mental Health Journal (online first). doi: 10.1007/s10597-014-9704-0
Petkus, A., Gum, A. M., & Wetherell, J. L. (2013). Anxiety and cognitive impairment in homebound older adults. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry,28, 989-990. doi: 10.1002/gps.3951.
Meng, H., King-Kallimanis, B., Gum, A. M., & Wamsley, B. (2013). Measurement bias of the SF-36 Health Survey in older adults with chronic conditions. Quality of Life Research. doi: 10.1007/s11136-013-0373-1.
Kaufman, C. N., Canham, S., Motjabai, R., Gum, A. M., Dautovich, N. D., Kohn, R., & Spira, A. (2013). Insomnia and health services utilization in middle-aged and older adults: Results from the Health and Retirement Study. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glt050.
Gum, A. M., *Greene, J. A., *DeMuth, A., & *Dautovich, N. D. (2013). Primary care physicians’ attitudes regarding collaborating with home-based depression care managers. Home Health Care Management and Practice, 25, 196-202. doi: 10.1177/1084822313480178
*Dautovich, N. D., Dzierzewski, J. M., & Gum, A. M. (2013). Older adults display concurrent but not delayed associations between life stressors and depressive symptoms: A microlongitudinal study. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2013.02.008
Areán, P.A., & Gum, A. M. (2013). Psychologists at the table in health care reform: The case of geropsychology and integrated care. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 44, 142-149. doi: 10.1037/a0031083
Gum, A. M., Watson, M. A., Smith, B. A., Briscoe. R. B., Goldsmith, J., & *Henley, B. (2012). Collaborative design of a church-based, multidimensional senior wellness program by older adults, church leaders, and researchers. Journal of Religion, Spirituality, and Aging, 24, 213-234. doi: 10.1080/15528030.2012.634758
Bryant, C., Mohlman, J., Gum, A. M., Stanley, M., Beekman, A. T. F., Wetherell, J. L., Thorp, S. R., Flint, A. J., & Lenze, E. (2012 publish ahead of print). Anxiety disorders in older adults: Looking to DSM5 and beyond. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3182546167
Petkus, A., Gum, A. M., & Wetherell, J. L. (2012). Thought suppression is associated with psychological distress in homebound older adults. Depression and Anxiety, 29, 219-225. doi: 10.1002/da.20912
Mohlman, J., Bryant, C., Lenze, E. J., Stanley, M. A., Gum, A., Flint, A., Beekman, A. T. F., Wetherell, J. L., Thorp, S. R., & Craske, M. G. (2012). Improving recognition of late life anxiety disorders in DSM-V: Observations and recommendations of the Advisory Committee to the Lifespan Disorders Work Group. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 27, 549-556. doi: 10.1002/gps.2752
Hong, P. Y., Lishner, D. A., Gum, A. M., & Huss, E. A. (2012). How will I judge you for spending money on treatment? The effect of perceived treatment seeking behavior on negative evaluation of those with depression. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 31, 878-901.