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Developing Innovative Approaches to Personalizing Mental Health Care

NAMHC Concept Clearance


Benedetto Vitiello, M.D.
Program Chief, Pharmacological Treatment Intervention Research Program
Division of Services and Intervention Research


The purpose of this initiative is to support innovative approaches to designing and testing personalized treatment in mental health practice.


Personalized clinical care is a priority for the entire NIH, with particular relevance for mental health practice, due to the considerable variability in responses to treatment, in terms of both efficacy and safety. While predictors and moderators of treatment response have been reported using post hoc analytical approaches, there are insufficient data for designing individualized treatment plans. Therefore, more research is needed to systematically develop approaches to personalizing mental health care from the start of treatment.

This initiative will solicit applications for pilot projects that develop novel treatment approaches tailored to individual patient characteristics. The initiative will foster research in model and hypothesis development (e.g., which and how many factors are sufficient for tailoring) as well as the integration of clinical (e.g., co-morbidity, severity), genetic, brain imaging, and contextual (e.g., personal preference) variables into specific treatment approaches. Given the developing nature of personalized health care, this initiative will support pilot, preliminary projects that provide a foundation for more definitive studies in the future.

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