Ursula Whiteside, PhD

Research Associate


Recent publications

Curriculum vitae (CV)




Research interests and experience

Behavioral health scientist Ursula Whiteside, PhD, joined GHRI as a Research Fellow in 2010 with a life-long passion for understanding the intricacies of human behavior and experience in both applied research and therapeutic mental health counseling. Her focus is studying and treating substance misuse and mental health problems and developing behavior-change interventions—especially simple, effective, and inexpensive interventions for primary care.

Dr. Whiteside is working with Senior Investigator Greg Simon, MD, PhD, on the Group Health Foundation-funded Secure Messaging II (SM2) project. Dr. Simon has led several studies showing that simple, relatively inexpensive care-management programs can significantly improve the lives of people with mood disorders. SM2 is investigating whether patients receiving depression treatment online and through secure e-mail messaging will report fewer depression symptoms and satisfaction with treatment. Dr. Whiteside helps lead the evaluation, implementation, and testing of SM2's Web-based program. She also created the clinical content for patient self-management and follow-up e-mails.

With Senior Research Associate Evette Ludman, PhD, Dr. Whiteside serves as both a therapist and research scientist on the STRIDE study, which is testing a novel model for delivering self-management support to persons living with chronic or recurrent depression. For the intervention component of STRIDE, she co-leads group therapy with a peer support specialist and provides individual telephone-based support.

Dr. Whiteside earned both her master's and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Washington (UW). While earning her PhD, Dr. Whiteside studied under the developer of a treatment approach called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT is a fast-emerging form of psychiatric care that holds promise for the chronically suicidal, among others. Dr. Whiteside's research has adapted components of the coping skills taught in DBT into brief substance misuse and mental health interventions.

In 2010, Dr. Whiteside completed a year-long internship at the UW School of Medicine's psychiatry department. Her inpatient and outpatient work included interviewing, therapy, and administering behavioral interventions. She is excited that integrating mental health and addictions treatment into the Patient-Centered Medical Home model is a priority for Group Health primary care in 2011, noting that GHRI is an ideal setting for a researcher with her interests.


Recent publications

Ahmedani BK, Simon GE, Stewart C, Beck A, Waitzfelder BE, Rossom R, Lynch F, Owen-Smith A, Hunkeler EM, Whiteside U, Operskalski BH, Coffey MJ, Solberg LI. Health care contacts in the year before suicide death. J Gen Intern Med. 2014 Feb 25 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Whiteside U, Lungu A, Richards J, Simon GE, Clingan S, Siler J, Snyder L, Ludman E. Designing messaging to engage patients in an online suicide prevention intervention: survey results from patients with current suicidal ideation. J Med Internet Res. 2014 Feb 7;16(2):e42. doi: 10.2196/jmir.3173. PubMed

Simon GE, Rutter CM, Peterson D, Oliver M, Whiteside U, Operskalski B, Ludman EJ. Does response on the PHQ-9 depression questionnaire predict subsequent suicide attempt or suicide death? Psychiatr Serv. 2013 Dec 1;64(12):1195-202. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201200587. Epub 2013 Sep 16. PubMed

Larimer ME, Neighbors C, Lostutter TW, Whiteside U, Cronce JM, Kaysen D, Walker DD. Brief motivational feedback and cognitive behavioral interventions for prevention of disordered gambling: a randomized clinical trial. Addiction. 2012 Jun;107(6):1148-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03776.x. Epub 2012 Feb 28. PubMed

Whiteside U, Cronce JM, Pedersen ER, Larimer ME. Brief motivational feedback for college students and adolescents: a harm reduction approach. J Clin Psychol. 2010;Feb;66(2):150-63. PubMed

Vannoy S, Whiteside U, Unützer J. Current practices of suicide risk management protocols in research. Crisis. 2010;31(1):7-11. PubMed

Kanter JW, Rusch LC, Landes SJ, Holman GI, Whiteside U, Sedivy SK. The use and nature of present-focused interventions in cognitive and behavioral therapies for depression. Psychotherapy (Chic). 2009;Jun 1;46(2):220-232. PubMed

Lewis MA, Hove MC, Whiteside U, Lee CM, Kirkeby BS, Oster-Aaland L, Neighbors C, Larimer ME. Fitting in and feeling fine: conformity and coping motives as mediators of the relationship between social anxiety and problematic drinking. Psychol Addict Behav. 2008;Mar;22(1):58-67. PubMed

Wu SM, Whiteside U, Neighbors C. Differences in inter-rater reliability and accuracy for a treatment adherence scale. Cogn Behav Ther. 2007;36(4):230-9. PubMed

Neighbors C, Lostutter TW, Whiteside U, Fossos N, Walker DD, Larimer ME. Injunctive norms and problem gambling among college students. J Gambl Stud. 2007; Mar 30. PubMed

Whiteside U, Chen E, Neighbors C, Hunter D, Lo T, Larimer M. Difficulties regulating emotions: Do binge eaters have fewer strategies to modulate and tolerate negative affect? Eat Behav. 2007; Apr;8(2):162-9. Epub 2006 May 22. PubMed

To view more publications, please see Dr. Whiteside's CV.