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Clinical Trials & Research

Clinical Trials & Research

Psychiatric Research

It can be a difficult challenge coping with mental illness or a psychological problem. Approximately 26.2 million Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. While there is still no perfect form of treatment, new interventions are being developed that could greatly improve symptoms or even lead to cures for many patients.

Allegheny Health Network’s nationally renowned psychiatric researchers are making major breakthroughs in the field of behavioral healthcare. Currently, our researchers are conducting a wide variety of psychiatric studies and are partnering in several clinical trials, giving patients access to some of the newest and most promising treatment approaches.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

Judith Cohen, MD, and Anthony Mannarino, PhD, developers of TF-CBT, are continuing to refine their intervention model for children who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related symptoms. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) treats children who have experienced sexual or physical abuse; the traumatic loss of a loved one; domestic, school or community violence; or multiple traumas. TF-CBT has now been studied in 14 randomized clinical trials around the world and has demonstrated efficacy for children ages 3-18. TF-CBT encourages and helps children to talk directly about their experiences in an environment where they can become less fearful, less avoidant and more able to tolerate trauma-related thoughts and feelings.

To make this intervention more accessible to mental health professionals, Drs. Cohen and Mannarino have teamed up with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to develop a Web-based training course called TF-CBT Web (www.musc.edu/tfcbt). To date, more than 200,000 mental health professionals from around the world have registered for this course and are using this intervention to help children and their families address and resolve their trauma-related distress and problems. Although TF-CBT Web is currently available for professionals, it is also being revised. It is anticipated that the new web course will be available on January 1, 2015.

Drs. Cohen and Mannarino have also worked collaboratively with the Medical University of South Carolina to develop CTGWeb (Childhood Traumatic Grief) – a companion Internet-based course for clinicians who treat children who have experienced a homicide, suicide or other traumatic loss of life. CTGWeb helps clinicians learn how to implement TF-CBT with families who have experienced traumatic grief.

In addition, Drs. Cohen and Mannarino, in collaboration with their colleagues at MUSC, have developed TF-CBT Consult, which is a web-based resources that clinicians can use to receive consultation about how to implement the different components of TF-CBT. All of these web-based courses have scripted information, interviews with TF-CBT experts and role-play demonstrations.