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Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Swarbrick

Associate Director, Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies; Research Professor, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology

Office: SMH 222

Email: swarbrma@rutgers.edu

Curriculum Vitae:

  • Bio
  • Current Research
  • Grants
  • Selected Publications
  • Education
  • Recent Awards
  • Other Information


Dr. Swarbrick is the Associate Director of the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies and a Research Professor in the Applied Department of GSAPP. Over her career, she has made significant contributions to the body of literature in occupational therapy, nursing, and community behavioral health care practice, focused on topics such as the 8 dimensions of wellness, wellness coaching, peer support, health disparities and social determinants of health, financial wellness, employment, trauma, and self-care.  She developed a strength based 8-dimensional wellness model to promote recovery from mental health and substance use. Dr Swarbrick is known for bringing the voices and needs of people to the table by collaborating with the peer community and family groups to identify and address social determinants that are barriers to recovery and wellness. She has created self-care wellness programs for people in recovery, caregiver’s, families, youth, and professionals. As a co-investigator, consultant, and collaborator on Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute grants as well as National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, National Institute of Mental Health, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, she has contributed to significant research and been a lead for developing trainings and intervention manuals for many of these projects. Dr Swarbrick was a co-investigator on Perspectives on the International Classification of Diseases (11th revision); Using lived experience to improve mental health diagnoses in the United States: INCLUDE – US Study. She worked for many years at the Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey Wellness Institute.

Current Research

Rutgers University Co-Investigator

CIRCLE Peer Talk Discussion Groups (CIRCLE: Colleague Involved in Reaching Colleagues through Listening and Empathy). Peer Support Approaches to Bolster Physician Well-Being during the COVID-19 Era and Beyond. PI: Dr Brazeau.  Co PIs Dr Chen, Dr Manasa, & Swarbrick, June 2020- present

Effects of Short-Term Self-Care Training on the Well-Being of Staff in an Applied Behavior Analysis Setting, PI: Dr Massey; Co PIs, Frances, Paone, Swarbrick, January 2021- present.

Perceived Effectiveness of Online Teaching Strategies by Occupational Therapy Assistant Students, PI; Dr Benaroya; McKernan, George and Swarbrick, September 2021-present.

Effect of Traditional vs. Non-Traditional Psychosocial Fieldwork Placement on Occupational Therapy Assistant Students’ Attitudes Towards Working with Individuals with Mental Illness, PI; Dr Benaroya; Co PIs, Zechner, Murphy, Cimmino, Swarbrick. December 2020-present. 

University Illinois Chicago (UIC): Co Investigator

University Illinois Chicago (UIC) National Research and Training Center, National Institute on Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research, National Research and Training Center, Swarbrick, Co-Director, Solutions Suite; PI Dr Cook, October 2020-present

  • RCT of Building Financial Wellness Curriculum, October 2020-present
  • Healthy ReStart: National Web Survey on the Status of Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities, Intervention Development, & Pilot RCT, October 2020-September 2022
  • National Survey on the Health Status of the Certified Peer Specialist Workforce, October 2021-September 2023
  • Healthy ReStart to Life After COVID-19 and Beyond, October 2021-September 2023
  • Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle: On the Road to a Tobacco-Free Life; & Kick Start Your Immunity, October 2022 to September 2025
  • Peer Telehealth Navigator Manual, October 2023 to September 2025

Kean University: Co Investigator/Mentor

Exploring Sleep Habits and Routines for Individuals with Mental Disorders During COVID-19, PI: Monique Schulmann. Faculty mentors Dr Gardner and Swarbrick, June 2020- present

Yale: Consultant

R34 Peer Wellness Grant Number:  5R34MH117188 – 02  PI: Dr. Bellamy, 2018-present




Selected Publications

Gardner, G., Swarbrick,, Dennis, S., Franklin,M., Pricken, M., & Palmer, K. (2021)Sleep Habits and Routines of Individuals Diagnosed with Mental and/or Substance-Use Disorders, Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, DOI: 10.1080/0164212X.2021.1877592

Swarbrick M, Fogerite SG, Spagnolo AB, Nemec PB. Caregivers of People With Disabilities: A Program to Enhance Wellness Self-Care. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2021 Jan 13:1-8. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20210107-04. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33440011.

Nemec PB, Swarbrick M, Spagnolo A, Brandow CL. Nudges to Support Health and Wellness for Individuals Served by Behavioral Health Programs. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2021 Jan 1;59(1):21-28. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20201015-03. Epub 2020 Oct 23. PMID: 33095264.

Jonikas, J. A., Cook, J. A., Swarbrick, M., Nemec, P., Steigman, P. J., Boss, K., & Brice, G. H., Jr. (2020, submitted). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health and daily life of adults with behavioral health disorders. Translational Behavioral Medicine.

Mulry, C., Gardner, J., Swarbrick, M., Maltempi, O., Ramirez, M., DiMaiuta, A., & Wollny, K. (2020)Feasibility of the Let’s Go Mobility Program for Community Dwelling Adults with Mental Disorders, Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 36:4, 307-329, DOI: 1080/0164212X.2020.1825151

Marrone, J., & Swarbrick, M. Long-Term Unemployment: A Social Determinant Under addressed Within Community Behavioral Health Programs.  Psychiatric Services. March 2020. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201900522.

Zechner, M., Lundquist, MC., Swarbrick, M., Wey, M. (2020). Care2Caregivers: A Retrospective Examination of Needs Addressed and Services Provided by a Peer Support Helpline. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. 2020;58(10):13-16; https://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20200817-04

Wetzler, S., Hackmann, C., Peryer,G., Clayman, K., Friedman, D., Saffran, K., Silver, J.,  Swarbrick, M., Magill, E., van Furth, EF., Pike, KM (2020). A framework to conceptualize personal recovery from eating disorders: A systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis of perspectives from individuals with lived experience. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2020; 1– 16. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.23260

Brandow, C. L., Swarbrick, M., & Nemec, P. B. (2020). Rethinking the causes and consequences of financial wellness for people with serious mental illnesses. Psychiatric Services.

Saraiya, T., Swarbrick, M., Franklin, L., Kass, S., Campbell, A., & Hien, D.  Perspectives on trauma and the design of a technology-based trauma-informed intervention for women receiving medications for addiction treatment in community-based settings. Journal of Substance Use Treatment.  p92–10. Published online: January 25, 2020.

Hackmann, C., Balhara, Y. P. S., Clayman, K., Nemec, P. B., Notley, C., Pike, K., Reed, G.M. Sharan, P., Rana, M. S., Silver, J., Swarbrick, MZeilig, H., & Shakespeare, T. (2019). Perspectives on the INternational CLassification of Diseases, 11th Revision (ICD-11); an international qualitative study to Understand and improve mental health Diagnosis using expertise by Experience: INCLUDE Study. The Lancet Psychiatry. [https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/69891/]

Rockson L, Swarbrick, M, Pratt C. Cancer Screening in Behavioral Health Care Programs. J American Psychiatric Nurses Assoc. 2019 Oct 3:1078390319877227. doi: 10.1177/1078390319877227

Swarbrick, M., Bohan, MC., Gitlitz, R., & Hillis, M (2019). Peer Health Navigators Support Individuals with an Opioid Use Disorder Transitioning from Prison. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 203, 1 October 2019, Pages 88-91.

Gardner, J., Swarbrick, M., Kearns, D., Suero, L., Hardner, P., Moscoe, E., o’Toole, P., & Rutledge, J. Exploring sensory preferences community dwelling adults living with mental disorders. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, volume 21, numbers 3-4, Fall-Winter 2019.

Bochicchio, L., Stefancic, A., Gurdak, K., Swarbrick, M., Cabassa, L. (2018). We’re all in this Together”:  Peer-specialist Contributions to a Healthy Lifestyle Intervention for People with Serious Mental Illness. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research. DOI:10.1007/s10488-018-0914-6.

Swarbrick, M., & Noyes, S. (2018), Guest Editorial: Effectiveness of occupational therapy services in mental health practice, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72 (1-4).

Swarbrick, M., Nemec, PBBrandow, CLSpagnolo, A. (2018). Strategies to Promote Walking Among Community-Dwelling Individuals With Major Mental Disorders. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, Mar 1;56(3):25-32. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20171205-0

Gardner, J., Swarbrick, M., Ackerman, A., Church, T., Rios, V., Valente, L., & Rutledge, J. (2017). Effects of Physical Limitations on Daily Activities Among Adults With Mental Health Disorders: Opportunities for Nursing and Occupational Therapy Interventions. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services 55(10), 45-51. doi:10.3928/02793695-20170818-05

Swarbrick, M. (2017). Peer-Led Treatment. In A. Wenzel (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of abnormal and clinical psychology (pp. 2511-2512). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. doi: 10.4135/9781483365817.n1008

Smoyak, S. A., Swarbrick, M. A., Nowik, K., Ancheta, A., & Lombardo, A. (2017). Consumers of Mental Health Services: Their Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices About High Energy Drinks and Drugs. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 55(4), 37–43. https://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20170330-06.

Swarbrick, M. A., Cook, J. A., Razzano, L. A., Jonikas, J. A., Gao, N., Williams, J., & Yudof, J. (2017). Correlates of Current Smoking Among Adults Served by the Public Mental Health System. Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 13(2), 82–90. https://doi.org/10.1080/15504263.2017.1296603

Rogers, S. & Swarbrick, M. (2016). Peer-delivered services: Current trends and innovations. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, Vol 39(3), 193-196 .http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/prj0000223

Cook, J. A., Razzano, L., Jonikas, J. A., Swarbrick, M., Steigman, P. J., Hamilton, M. M., … Santos, A. B. (2016). Correlates of Co-Occurring Diabetes and Obesity Among Community Mental Health Program Members With Serious Mental Illnesses. Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.), 67(11), 1269–1271. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201500219

Gill, K. J., Zechner, M., Zambo Anderson, E., Swarbrick,, & Murphy, A. (2016). Wellness for life: A pilot of an interprofessional intervention to address metabolic syndrome in adults with serious mental illnesses. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 39(2), 147–153. https://doi.org/10.1037/prj0000172

Jiménez-Solomon, O. G., Méndez-Bustos, P., Swarbrick, M., Díaz, S., Silva, S., Kelley, M., … Lewis-Fernández, R. (2016). Peer-supported economic empowerment: A financial wellness intervention framework for people with psychiatric disabilities. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 39(3), 222–233. https://doi.org/10.1037/prj0000210

Olker, S. J., Parrott, J. S., Swarbrick, M. A., & Spagnolo, A. B. (2016). Weight management interventions in adults with a serious mental illness: A meta-analytic review. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 19(4), 370–393. https://doi.org/10.1080/15487768.2016.1231643

Rockson, L. E., Swarbrick, M. A., & Pratt, C. (2016). Cancer Screening Among Peer-Led Community Wellness Center Enrollees. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 54(3), 36–40. https://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20160219-06

Swarbrick, M., Gill, K. J., & Pratt, C. W. (2016). Impact of peer delivered wellness coaching. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 39(3), 234–238. https://doi.org/10.1037/prj0000187

Swarbrick, M., & Nemec, P. B. (2016). Supporting the Health and Wellness of Individuals With Psychiatric Disabilities. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 30(3), 321–333. https://doi.org/10.1891/2168-6653.30.3.321

Swarbrick,, Tunner, T. P., Miller, D. W., Werner, P., & Tiegreen, W. W. (2016). Promoting health and wellness through peer-delivered services: Three innovative state examples. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 39(3), 204–210. https://doi.org/10.1037/prj0000205

Nemec, P., Swarbrick,, & Legere, L. (2015). Prejudice and discrimination from mental health service providers. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 38(2), 203-206. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/prj0000148

Cook, J. A., Razzano, L. A., Swarbrick, M., Jonikas, J. A., Yost, C., Burke, L., … Santos, A. (2015). Health risks and changes in self-efficacy following community health screening of adults with serious mental illnesses. PloS One, 10(4), e0123552.https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0123552

Nemec, P. B., Swarbrick, M., & Merlo, D. M. (2015). The Force of Habit: Creating and Sustaining a Wellness Lifestyle. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 53(9), 24–30. https://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20150821-01

Razzano, L. A., Cook, J. A., Yost, C., Jonikas, J. A., Swarbrick, M., Carter, T. M., & Santos, A. (2015). Factors associated with co-occurring medical conditions among adults with serious mental disorders. Schizophrenia Research, 161(2–3), 458–464. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2014.11.021

Swarbrick, M.., Rockson, L., Pratt, C., Yudof, J., & Nemec, P. (2015). Perceptions of Overall Health and Recency of Screenings. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 18(1), 5–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/15487768.2015.1001703

Brice, G. H., Swarbrick, M.. A., & Gill, K. J. (2014). Promoting wellness of peer providers through coaching. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 52(1), 41–45. https://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20130930-03

Swarbrick, M.. A. (2013). Integrated care: wellness-oriented peer approaches: a key ingredient for integrated care. Psychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.), 64(8), 723–726. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201300144

Swarbrick, M.. A., Cook, J., Razzano, L., Yudof, J., Cohn, J., Fitzgerald, C., … Yost, C. (2013). Health screening dialogues. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 51(12), 22–28. https://doi.org/10.3928/02793695-20130930-02


2005 PhD, New York University
2005-2008 Advanced Training and Research Fellowship, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Rutgers School of Health Professions (formerly UMDNJ)


Recent Awards

Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, Tribute Award, for decades of innovation and dedication to the field of peer-led leadership in the behavioral health field, November 10, 2020

New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Outstanding Leadership and Innovation, October 2020

New Jersey Psychiatric Association, Citizen of the Year, November 16, 2014

Other Information

Dr. Swarbrick has been involved in research, training, program development and consultation activities in the areas of wellness and health promotion, employment services, caregiver self-care, the role of peer support workers and efforts to reduce health disparities for people with substance use and mental health challenges.