MI - Three new studies at the University
of Michigan Depression Center are addressing some of the most
pressing questions about depression
in children and adolescents: How common is it, how is it being treated,
and how can treatment success rates be improved?
are funded by $230,000 in grants from the Blue Cross Blue Shield
of Michigan Foundation's Depression Among Children and Teens program.
The studies draw on the U-M's strengths in depression treatment
and research, and aim to help patients in Michigan and beyond.
headed by Jerry Rushton, M.D., MPH, an assistant professor of pediatrics,
will look at the rates, characteristics and treatment of depression
among children and teens enrolled in three Michigan insurance programs.
The survey of one year's data will help give solid numbers for incidence
of depression, use of prescription medications and counseling, and
adherence to treatment. In turn, the study may help identify groups
with increased risks, variations in treatment, and opportunities
for better treatment coordination and outcomes.
Two other studies,
led by Cheryl King, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry
and director of the Child
& Adolescent Depression Program, will assess new depression
uses a computerized voice-recognition phone system that depressed
teenagers can use each week to report their symptoms and treatment
satisfaction. Recognizing the importance of privacy and autonomy
to teenagers, this system enables them to give this information
wherever and whenever they choose. Some young patients will be randomly
assigned to try the new system in conjunction with their usual treatment,
with their parents' consent. King and her colleagues will follow
those patients and others who do not use the system, and compare
their treatment adherence, satisfaction with treatment, and outcomes.
A second study
led by King will evaluate the long-term effect of another treatment
enhancement that her team has already shown can help some depressed
and suicidal young people. The Youth-Nominated Support Team - a
group of peers, family members and other trusted adults chosen by
the teen - is designed to help patients cope with depression or
suicidal thoughts. A randomized controlled trial involving 300 teen
girls from southeast Michigan already showed the YST approach reduced
suicidal thoughts and emotional distress during a six-month test
period. Now, the team will evaluate the same teens' progress over
a two-year follow-up period.
by Kara Gavin
information, contact Kara Gavin or Carrie Hagen, UMHS Public
Relations, 734-764-2220, or by e-mail.
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