Bobbi Jo Yarborough, PsyD

Meet Bobbi Jo Yarborough

Bobbi Jo Yarborough is passionate about improving health care for people with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders. She wants providers and the public to know that patients can recover, and that recovery looks different for each person.


Bobbi Jo Yarborough, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist and health services researcher working to improve care and outcomes among individuals with serious mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders. Across both areas, her work has focused on consumer definitions of recovery and preferences for treatment.

Dr. Yarborough’s current research on mental illness includes development of a community engagement intervention for individuals experiencing a first psychotic episode; evaluation of the implementation of the national Zero Suicide initiative across several health systems, including Kaiser Permanente Northwest; and integration of opioid-related variables into a previously-developed suicide risk prediction model in order to predict opioid-related suicide attempts and deaths. Her past work has included developing a lifestyle intervention (STRIDE) that helped adults taking antipsychotics to lose weight, improve glucose control, and reduce hospitalizations; and a study examining patterns and rates of preventive service use among patients with and without serious mental illnesses.

In addition to her mental illness work, Dr. Yarborough has a thriving program of research on substance use, with a focus on opioid use. This research includes examining the incidence and prevalence of the risks of opioid abuse, misuse, and addiction among patients treated with opioids for chronic pain; an observational study designed to measure the incidence and predictors of opioid overdose and death using patient health records, insurance claims, and death records; a study examining long-term changes in function associated with opioid dose changes; and an examination of different models of treatment for opioid use disorders in primary care settings.

Dr. Yarborough earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Oregon and her master’s in counseling and doctorate in clinical psychology from Pacific University.

Selected Publications

  • Yarborough BJH, Chi FW, Green CA, Hinman A, Mertens J, Beck A, Horberg M, Weisner C, Campbell CI. Patient and system characteristics associated with performance on the HEDIS measures of alcohol and other drug treatment initiation and engagement. J Addict Med. 2018 Mar 19. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000399. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29557802 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Simon GE, Stewart C, Yarborough BJ, Lynch F, Coleman KJ, Beck A, Operskalski BH, Penfold RB, Hunkeler EM. Mortality rates after the first diagnosis of psychotic disorder in adolescents and young adults. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018 Mar 1;75(3):254-260. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.4437. PMID: 29387876 [PubMed - in process]
  • Yarborough BJH, Perrin NA, Stumbo SP, Muench J, Green CA. Preventive service use among people with and without serious mental illnesses. Am J Prev Med. 2018 Jan;54(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.08.020. Epub 2017 Oct 19. PMID: 29056371 [PubMed - in process]
  • Yarborough BJ, Stumbo SP, Janoff SL, Yarborough MT, McCarty D, Chilcoat HD, Coplan PM, Green CA. Understanding opioid overdose characteristics involving prescription and illicit opioids: A mixed methods analysis. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 Oct 1;167:49-56. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.07.024. Epub 2016 Aug 1. PMID: 27520885 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Yarborough BJ, Yarborough MT, Janoff SL, Green CA. Getting by, getting back, and getting on: Matching mental health services to consumers' recovery goals. Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2016 Jun;39(2):97-104. doi: 10.1037/prj0000160. Epub 2015 Sep 28. PMID: 26414748 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Yarborough BJ, Stumbo SP, McCarty D, Mertens J, Weisner C, Green CA. Drug Alcohol Depend. Methadone, buprenorphine and preferences for opioid agonist treatment: A qualitative analysis. 2016 Mar 1;160:112-8. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.031. Epub 2016 Jan 6. PMID: 26796596 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Green CA, Yarborough BJ, Leo MC, Yarborough MT, Stumbo SP, Janoff SL, Perrin NA, Nichols GA, Stevens VJ. The STRIDE weight loss and lifestyle intervention for individuals taking antipsychotic medications: a randomized trial. Am J Psychiatry. 2015 Jan;172(1):71-81. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14020173. Epub 2014 Oct 31. PMID: 25219423 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Press Release

New Kaiser Permanente Study Will Examine the Role of Opioid Use in Suicide Risk

Researchers aim to improve powerful prediction tools that help clinicians identify patients at high risk for suicide.

Aug 9, 2018

Press Release

Patients with Serious Mental Health Conditions Receive Preventive Care at Similar Rates as Those Without These Conditions, Study Finds

Researchers hypothesized that people with mental illnesses might receive less preventive care than people without these illnesses. However, this study, which included patients within the Kaiser Permanente system and patients who get their care from safety-net clinics, found just the opposite.

Oct 18, 2017

Press Release

Timely Publication on Opioid Dependency Makes a Splash on Twitter

As the opioid epidemic deepens, the public looks to researchers to help explain and confront the crisis.

Dec 7, 2017

Press Release

Lifestyle Intervention Helps People Taking Antipsychotic Medications Lose Weight and Reduce Diabetes Risk

People with serious mental illnesses already at higher risk for obesity; medications that control their symptoms often lead to additional weight gain

Sep 15, 2014