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Treating Children and Adolescents with Depression: Future Research Questions

Meeting Summary
Washington, DC

In February 2006, NIMH hosted this two-day workshop with the purpose of reviewing the evidence for benefits and risks of existing treatment interventions for youths suffering from depression, identifying knowledge gaps in need of further research, and discussing approaches to future research with respect to design, methods, and implementation. The workshop, organized by the Division of Services and Intervention Research and the Division for Pediatric Translational Research and Treatment Development, gathered researchers in psychotherapies, psychopharmacology, clinical neuroscience, clinical trial methodology and design, and patient advocates. Among the main topics of discussion were: a) the need to develop evidence-based treatment algorithms for youths with depression by integrating the effective interventions into validated sequential approaches; b) the importance of studying how to individualize treatment by matching intervention to patient and illness characteristics; and c) the heterogeneity of the current construct of major depressive disorder and consequent need to identify more homogeneous and clinically valid subtypes to be more effectively targeted by treatment. For more information, please contact Dr. Ben Vitiello.