Photo of Steven K. Dobscha, M.D.

Steven K. Dobscha M.D.

  • (503) 220-8262
    • Professor of Psychiatry School of Medicine

Dr. Dobscha is Principal Investigator on research projects exploring interactions of primary care teams with Veterans prior to suicide; measuring effectiveness of smart phone applications for enhancing distress tolerance; examining stakeholder perspectives on the use of OpenNotes in mental health settings; and identifying predictors of improvements in pain scores among older Veterans. His research interests also include approaches to integrating psychiatric and primary medical care and managing chronic conditions including chronic pain in primary care.

Bush NE, Dobscha SK, Crumpton R, et al. A Virtual Hope Box Smartphone App as an Accessory to Therapy: Proof-of-Concept in a Clinical Sample of Veterans. Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior, 45, 1 2015. DOI: 10.1111/sltb.12103 Plagge JM, Lu MW, Lovejoy TI, Karl AI, Dobscha SK. Treatment of Comorbid Pain and PTSD in Returning Veterans: A Collaborative Approach Utilizing Behavioral Activation. Pain Medicine, 14(8):1164-72, 2013. Lu MW, Plagge JM, Marsiglio MS, Dobscha SK. Clinician Documentation on Receipt of Trauma-Focused Evidence-Based Psychotherapies in a VA PTSD Clinic. Journal of Behavioral Health Denneson LM, Teo AR, Ganzini L, Helmer DA, Bair MJ, Dobscha SK. Military veterans’ experiences with suicidal ideation: Implications for intervention and prevention. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, available Epub 11/3/2014 ahead of print; doi 10.1111.sltb.12136 Dobscha SK, Corson K, Hickam DH, Perrin NA, Kraemer DF, Gerrity MS. Depression decision support in primary care: A cluster-randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 145:477-487, 2006. Dobscha SK, Corson K, Perrin NA, Hanson GC, Leibowitz RQ, Dickinson KC, Sullivan MD, Gerrity MS. Collaborative care for chronic pain in primary care: A Cluster-Randomized Trial. JAMA, 301(12):1242-1252, 2009 Dobscha SK, Leibowitz RQ, Flores JA, Doak M, Gerrity MS. Primary care provider preferences for working with a collaborative support team. Implementation Science, 2:16. DOI:10.1186/1748-5908-2-16, 2007. Corson K, Gerrity MS, Dobscha SK: Screening for depression and suicidality in a VA primary care setting: Two items are better than one. American Journal of Managed Care, 10:839-845, 2004. Dobscha SK, Denneson LM, Kovas AE, Teo A, Forsberg CS, Kaplan MS, Bossarte R, McFarland BH. Correlates of suicide among veterans treated in primary care: Case-control study of a nationally representative sample. JGIM, 4:853-60, 2014. doi: 10.1007/s11606-014-3028-1 . Dobscha SK, Denneson LM, Kovas AE, Teo A, Forsberg CS, Kaplan MS, Bossarte R, McFarland BH. Correlates of suicide among veterans treated in primary care: Case-control study of a nationally representative sample. JGIM, 4:853-60, 2014. doi: 10.1007/s11606-014-3028-1. Dobscha SK, Corson K, Helmer D, Bair M, Denneson LM, Brandt C, Beane A, Ganzini L. Brief assessment for suicidal ideation in OEF/OIF veterans with positive depression screens. General Hospital Psychiatry, 35(3):272-278, 2013.
Dobscha SK, Denneson LM, Kovas AE, Corson K, Helmer DA, Bair MJ. Primary Care Clinician Responses to Positive Suicidal Ideation Risk Assessments in Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. General Hospital Psychiatry, 36(3):310-317, 2014. Dobscha SK, Soleck GD, Dickinson KC, Burgess DJ, Lasarev MR, Lee ES, McFarland BH.Associations between race and ethnicity and treatment for chronic pain in the VA. Journal of Pain, 10(10):1078-1087, 2009 . Morasco BJ, Duckart JP, Carr TP, Deyo RA, Dobscha SK. Clinical characteristics of veterans prescribed high doses of opioid medications for chronic non-cancer pain. Pain 151:625-632, 2010. Dobscha SK, Morasco BJ, Duckart JP, Macey T. Correlates of prescription opioid initiation and long-term opioid use in veterans with persistent pain. Clinical Journal of Pain, 29:102–108, 2013. Morasco BJ, Turk DC, Donovan DM, Dobscha SK. Risk for prescription opioid misuse among patients with a history of substance use disorder. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 127;193-199, 2013. Dobscha SK, Heintz RT, Press N, Ganzini L: Oregon physicians’ responses to requests for assisted suicide: A qualitative study. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 7:451-461, 2004. Ganzini L, Dobscha SK, Heintz RT, Press N: Oregon physicians' perceptions of patients who request assisted suicide and their families. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 6:381-390, 2003. Ganzini L, Goy ER, Dobscha SK. Prevalence of depression and anxiety in patients requesting physician aid in dying. British Medical Journal, 337:a1682, 2008. Ganzini L, Goy ER, Dobscha SK. Oregonians’ reasons for requesting physician aid in dying. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169:489-492, 2009. Dobscha SK, Ganzini L: A program for teaching psychiatry residents to provide integrated psychiatric and primary medical care. Psych. Services, 52:1651-1653, 2001. Dobscha SK, Snyder KM, Corson K, Ganzini L. Psychiatry resident graduate comfort with general medical issues:  Impact of an integrated psychiatry-primary medical care training track. Academic Psychiatry, 29:448-451, 2005.


  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley California 1983
  • M.D., Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven Connecticut 1988
  • Residency:

    • UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute/Brentwood VA, 2005

Memberships and associations

  • Director, VA Health Services Research and Development Center


  • "Loneliness is closely associated with depression outcomes and suicidal ideation among military veterans in primary care." Journal of Affective Disorders In: , Vol. 230, 01.04.2018, p. 42-49.
  • "Patterns and correlates of medical cannabis use for pain among patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy." General Hospital Psychiatry In: , Vol. 50, 01.01.2018, p. 104-110.
  • "No-show rates when phone appointment reminders are not directly delivered." Psychiatric Services In: , Vol. 68, No. 11, 01.11.2017, p. 1098-1100.
  • "Posttraumatic stress disorder and correlates of disease activity among veterans with ankylosing spondylitis." Rheumatology International In: , 24.08.2017, p. 1-5.
  • "Patient outcomes in dose reduction or discontinuation of long-term opioid therapy : A systematic review." Annals of Internal Medicine In: , Vol. 167, No. 3, 01.08.2017, p. 181-191.
  • "Spirituality, Religion, and Suicidality Among Veterans : A Qualitative Study." Archives of Suicide Research  In: , 20.07.2017, p. 1-16.
  • "Suicidal ideation and suicidal self-directed violence following clinician-initiated prescription opioid discontinuation among long-term opioid users." General Hospital Psychiatry In: , Vol. 47, 01.07.2017, p. 29-35.
  • "Substance Use Disorder Treatment Following Clinician-Initiated Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Therapy Resulting from an Aberrant Urine Drug Test." Journal of General Internal Medicine In: , 09.06.2017, p. 1-7.
  • "Trust in mental health clinicians among patients who access clinical notes online." Psychiatric Services In: , Vol. 68, No. 5, 01.05.2017, p. 520-523.
  • "A Virtual Hope Box : Randomized controlled trial of a smartphone app for emotional regulation and coping with distress." Psychiatric Services In: , Vol. 68, No. 4, 01.04.2017, p. 330-336.
  • "Curiosity improves coping efficacy and reduces suicidal ideation severity among military veterans at risk for suicide." Psychiatry Research In: , Vol. 249, 01.03.2017, p. 125-131.
  • "Reasons for discontinuation of long-term opioid therapy in patients with and without substance use disorders." Pain In: , Vol. 158, No. 3, 2017, p. 526-534.
  • "A qualitative analysis of how online access to mental health notes is changing clinician perceptions of power and the therapeutic relationship." Journal of Medical Internet Research In: , Vol. 19, No. 6, e208, 2017.
  • "Challenges to teaming for pain in primary care." Healthcare  In: , 2017.
  • "Development and Preliminary Evaluation of an Integrated Cognitive-Behavior Treatment for Chronic Pain and Substance Use Disorder in Patients with the Hepatitis C Virus." Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.)  In: , Vol. 17, No. 12, 01.12.2016, p. 2280-2290.
  • "Pilot study of enhanced social support with automated telephone monitoring after psychiatric hospitalization for depression." Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology In: , 25.10.2016, p. 1-9.
  • "Higher Prescription Opioid Dose is Associated With Worse Patient-Reported Pain Outcomes and More Health Care Utilization." Journal of Pain In: , 12.07.2016.
  • "The musculoskeletal diagnosis cohort : Examining pain and pain care among veterans." Pain In: , Vol. 157, No. 8, 08.06.2016, p. 1696-1703.
  • "Qualitative analysis of US Department of veterans affairs mental health clinician perspectives on patient-centered care." International Journal for Quality in Health Care In: , Vol. 28, No. 3, mzw028, 01.06.2016, p. 355-362.
  • "Suicide Risk Documented During Veterans' Last Veterans Affairs Health Care Contacts Prior to Suicide." Suicide & life-threatening behavior In: , Vol. 46, No. 3, 01.06.2016, p. 363-374.
  • "Predictors of urine drug testing for patients with chronic pain : Results from a national cohort of U.S. veterans." Substance Abuse In: , Vol. 37, No. 1, 02.01.2016, p. 82-87.
  • "Treatment of veterans with mental health symptoms in VA primary care prior to suicide." General Hospital Psychiatry In: , Vol. 38, 01.01.2016, p. 65-70.
  • "VA mental health clinician experiences and attitudes toward OpenNotes." General Hospital Psychiatry  In: , Vol. 38, 01.01.2016, p. 89-93.
  • "Correlates of prescription opioid therapy in Veterans with chronic pain and history of substance use disorder." Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development In: , Vol. 53, No. 1, 2016, p. 25-36.
  • "Predictors of Improvements in Pain Intensity in a National Cohort of Older Veterans With Chronic Pain." Journal of Pain In: , 31.12.2015.
  • "Pain-related anxiety mediates the relationship between depressive symptoms and pain interference in veterans with hepatitis C." General Hospital Psychiatry In: , Vol. 37, No. 6, 01.11.2015, p. 533-537.
  • "Does mode of contact with different types of social relationships predict depression in older adults? Evidence from a nationally representative survey." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society  In: , Vol. 63, No. 10, 01.10.2015, p. 2014-2022.
  • "Military Veterans' Experiences with Suicidal Ideation : Implications for Intervention and Prevention." Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior In: , Vol. 45, No. 4, 01.08.2015, p. 399-414.
  • "Short-Term Variability in Outpatient Pain Intensity Scores in a National Sample of Older Veterans with Chronic Pain." Pain Medicine (United States) In: , Vol. 16, No. 5, 01.05.2015, p. 855-865.
  • "Collaborative care for pain results in both symptom improvement and sustained reduction of pain and depression." General Hospital Psychiatry In: , Vol. 37, No. 2, 01.03.2015, p. 139-143.

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