Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell
Since 2003, Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, PhD, has developed and tested interventions that integrate mental and physical health. In 2014, she began studying the presence of positive mental health--and not just the absence of mental illness--as a way to prevent health problems and promote well-being.
Rae Jean’s current research questions are:
- What is the relationship between mental health and physical health across time?
- What is the role of positive mental health in initial behavior change, and in sustaining healthy behaviors?
To answer these questions, Rae Jean has conducted randomized controlled trials with patients with hepatitis C and alcohol use (Hep ART), and with clergy with obesity and depression, as well as those who are already thriving (Spirited Life). During 2018-2022, she will be testing several stress symptom reduction and positive mental health promotion interventions.
Rae Jean’s research focuses on caregivers:
- US clergy (Clergy Health Initiative)
- Kenyan community health volunteers, and
- Caregivers of orphaned and vulnerable children in Cambodia, India, Kenya, and Ethiopia (Caregiver Flourishing).
Her book, Faithful and Fractured: Responding to the Clergy Health Crisis, with co-author Jason Byassee was published by Baker Academic in 2018 and captures 10 years of research on the holistic health of clergy.
As Advisor and Founding Director of the DGHI Evidence Lab, Rae Jean strives to use and improve upon innovative research designs and has conducted under-utilized yet high-inference research designs, including Interrupted Time Series analysis and randomized multiple baseline designs. She lectures and provides consultations on evaluating health interventions in global contexts. Rae Jean brings this expertise to the interdisciplinary teams led by Nimmi Ramanujam, who is developing and scaling screening tools for cervical cancer.