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The Department of Psychiatry is committed to the area of research. Current studies are noted below.

TF-CBT for Adjudicated Youth in Residential Treatment

Principal Investigators: Judith Cohen, M.D. and Anthony Mannarino, Ph.D.
Length of Study: July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2014
Funding Source: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

In the spring of 2011, Judith Cohen, M.D. and Anthony Mannarino, Ph.D. were awarded funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for their research study entitled “TF-CBT for Adjudicated Youth in Residential Treatment.” The project, which began in July, is a multi-center, randomized controlled study of two delivery strategies for TF-CBT among residential treatment facility (RTF) centers in New England. The study will compare web-based (W) versus W plus live training (W+L) for delivering an evidence-based youth trauma treatment, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) to therapists in 10 RTFs serving adjudicated youth ages 12-17 years old. Sixty therapists will be randomized to receive W vs. W+L, then will treat approximately 300 youth in RTF settings to determine whether W+L is superior to W in achieving positive youth outcomes. A cost benefit analysis will also be conducted.

The W (web-based) intervention consists of TF-CBTWeb training and open access to the TF-CBTConsult implementation and the W+L (W + Live) strategy consists of W + 2-day expert TF-CBT training plus 12 months of bimonthly phone consultation with training to TF-CBT fidelity standards.

The results will allow RTF programs to establish standard methodology in which staff receive integrated trauma-informed and evidence-based trainings and deliver TF-CBT with fidelity, successfully addressing PTSD and depressive symptoms, and minimizing future offending, incarceration, and possibly suicide among a highly vulnerable population.

Allegheny General Hospital Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents

Principal Investigator: Judith Cohen, M.D.
Co-Principal Investigator: Anthony Mannarino, Ph.D.
Length of Study: October 1, 20012 - September 30, 2016
Funding Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

The AGH CTSCA continues as a National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Treatment and Service Adaptation Center with national expertise in clinical interventions for traumatic stress reactions and traumatic grief. This study will address behavioral health disparities for children in foster care, LGBTQ youth, and military children with traumatic stress reactions or traumatic grief. The focus will be on addressing underserved communities and disparities in recruiting new members of these groups. With Supplemental Funding, Dr. Cohen and Dr. Mannarino will develop a clinical interventions for traumatic stress and traumatic grief partnership of national experts, highly experienced service providers and consumers, to develop and evaluate strategies of national impact to establish a sustainable workforce of therapists who can provide affordable, high quality TF-CBT and AF-CBT for children across the United States.

Dissemination of TF-CBT in Residential Treatment Facilities in Pennsylvania

Principal Investigators: Judith Cohen, M.D. and Anthony Mannarino, Ph.D.
Length of Study: March 1, 2010-July 31, 2013
Funding Source: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

This study will train clinicians in residential treatment facilities across the state of Pennsylvania in TF-CBT as well as measure outcomes in the children.

Cognitive Functioning in Childhood Trauma

Principal Investigator: Glen Getz, Ph.D.
Years Funded: Ongoing
Funding Source: Allegheny General Hospital, Department of Psychiatry

Study description:
Cognition in children between the ages of 8-12 years old who have experienced trauma prior to receiving treatment is being examined. This study is comparing performance on measures examining cognitive functioning in children who suffer childhood trauma vs. a nontrauma comparison group. Based upon preliminary results from previous research, this study focuses on four specific areas of cognitive functioning: sustained attention, memory, facial affect recognition and executive functioning. This study also aims to better understand the effect of depression and anxiety in these children on cognitive skills.

The Warhol Project

This project will integrate sensory art techniques with an established evidence-based treatment (trauma-focused cognitive behaviora therapy [TF-CBT]) for traumatized children and adolescents with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including diminished facial expression recognition. Through collaboration between the Andy Warhol Museum and the Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents staffs, the project will develop and evaluate the acceptability of adding a half-day art workshop at the Andy Warhol Museum for traumatized children ages 7-17. The study is funded from April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2014.