CASAColumbia Approved for $2.1 Million Research Funding Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute | Center on Addiction

CASAColumbia Approved for $2.1 Million Research Funding Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

CASAColumbia Approved for $2.1 Million Research Funding Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

A research team at CASAColumbia was recently awarded funding by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), to study the most effective ways to enhance healthcare outcomes among adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and related behavioral problems, including substance use.

The study was one of 46 proposals, selected from 490 applications, approved for funding to advance the field of comparative clinical effectiveness research and provide patients, healthcare providers, and other clinical decision makers with information that will help them make better-informed choices about healthcare options. 

CASAColumbia’s Aaron Hogue, Ph.D., Director of Adolescent and Family Research, will lead this research project as principal investigator, which will start later this year and run for three years.

The Buzz sat down with Aaron to discuss the new grant and learn more about why this research is so critically important.

Q: What is the overall goal of this new study?

AH: The study will help determine what treatment options for ADHD and co-occurring problems are best for which kinds of teens and families (based on their race, gender, age and if they are using substances or not). A related goal is to determine whether medication for ADHD provides a substantial boost for adolescents over and above the educational support and family counseling options they usually receive.

Q: Why is this type of study so important? 

AH: ADHD is extremely prevalent and underdiagnosed in adolescents with conduct and substance use problems. Moreover, research shows that teens with untreated ADHD do not respond as well to treatments aimed at improving other behavioral problems. Unfortunately, because ADHD is underdiagnosed, and because many clinicians working in behavioral care settings feel ill-equipped to treat ADHD, available and effective interventions for adolescents suffering from ADHD are routinely omitted from treatment plans.

The routine failure to identify and treat ADHD among adolescents creates an enormous gap in treatment services for this group, particularly given that ADHD often exacerbates, and sometimes precipitates, the conduct and substance problems that lead to clinical referrals. 

Q: What will the study evaluate?

AH: We have developed two treatment manuals that will be tested in outpatient treatment clinics in the New York City metro area. One manual, Changing Academic Support in the Home for Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CASH-AA), is a family-based intervention that targets the home environment, adolescent skills and family-school partnership characteristics in order to improve school performance. The second manual, Medication Integration Protocol (MIP), is designed to promote stronger integration of medication interventions into treatment planning for adolescents.

Q: How does this project align with PCORI’s goals to fund research that focuses on problems that are highly important to patients and lead to practical decisions?

AH: PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization that funds comparative clinical effectiveness research, which means that the group funds research studies on the relative effectiveness of two or more healthcare options for health concerns of high importance to individual patients and the national healthcare system.

This specific project will produce rigorous data on which treatment options are most effective for which kinds of clients—which will help patients and their healthcare providers select the best available option to meet patient needs. Also, MIP is a decision-making intervention designed to inform families about relevant health choices regarding ADHD medications and to engage parents and teens in family discussions about the costs and benefits of various medication options. MIP can minimize the risk of improper or overzealous prescription habits by making medication choice a fundamentally patient-centered process. 

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