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Child and Adolescent Treatment and Preventive Intervention Research Branch

Overview

This Branch plans, supports, and administers programs of research, research training, and research infrastructure development to evaluate the effectiveness of mental health preventive, treatment and rehabilitative interventions-alone or in combination-for children and adolescents (including those co-occurring with other conditions). The Branch also supports research addressing the long-term effectiveness of known efficacious interventions, including their role in the prevention of relapse and recurrence of mental disorders. The program focus is broad and inclusive with respect to the heterogeneity of patients, the severity and chronicity of disorders, and the variety of community and institutional settings in which treatment is provided. It includes trials evaluating the effectiveness of known efficacious interventions, as well as studies evaluating modified or adapted forms of interventions for use with additional populations (such as women, ethnic and racial groups), new settings (public sector, pediatric primary care, schools, other non-academic settings), and people with comorbid disorders.

Types of intervention research supported by the Branch include the full range of behavioral, psychotherapeutic, pharmacologic, and nonpharmacologic somatic or complementary/alternative approaches for which acute efficacy has been demonstrated, as well as rehabilitation or other adjunctive interventions. Other examples of areas of research support include identification of subgroups who may be more likely to benefit from preventive or treatment interventions, evaluation of the combined or sequential use of interventions of similar of different modalities (e.g., to extend efficacy among refractory subgroups, determination of the optimal length of treatment, and establishment of the utility of continuation or maintenance treatment with the same or different intervention as that used for acute response (i.e., for prevention of relapse or recurrence).

Branch Chief

Benedetto Vitiello, M.D.
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7147, MSC 9633
301-443-4283, bvitiell@mail.nih.gov

Areas of Emphasis

  • Research on the effectiveness of treatment interventions for childhood and adolescent mental and behavioral disorders in practice and community settings to determine the 'real life' therapeutic benefit short- and long-term.
  • Research to prevent mental and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents.
  • Research to build new methodologies that can be effectively used to evaluate the safety of interventions in community settings.
  • Research to determine whether treatment of mental and behavioral disorders in children results in improved outcomes as adolescents and young adults and prevents the negative functional outcomes associated with those disorders (such as substance abuse, academic failure, higher medical costs, co-occurring mental disorders).