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Akershus University Hospital

Director/Primary Investigator of Lab: Pravin Israel, PhD

The research group for Child and Adolescent Mental Health is one of the four research groups at the Department for Research and Development in Mental Health Care (R&D), Akershus University Hospital (AHUS). The group, senior-researcher, Pravin Israel, two psychologist and two child psychiatrists, is involved with studies ranging from epilepsy to sleep disorders and their relation to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to grief support. However, the clinical trial on treating depression (project BUD) is the major study that this research group is running. Three of the members have part-time academic positions at the department of Psychology, University of Oslo providing strong collaboration.

Other Lab Websites: Akershus University Hospital BUD Project

Active Funded Projects in Collaboration with CFIS

Project BUD, Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Depression

Severe depression affects approximately five percent of all teens, and poses a significant health problem, including increased risk of suicide. Depression is often comorbid with other mental health issues (e.g., anxiety, ADHD and behavioral problems). Community Mental Health Centers in Norway (BUP) have been experiencing a steady increase in referrals for diagnosis and treatment of anxiety and depression. Mapping, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of depression is therefore an important task for BUP. Thus, the Department for Research and Development in Mental Health Care (R&D), AHUS has started a research project with the Department BUP. The purpose of this research project is to examine how well Attachment-Based Family Therapy compared to routine therapy given at the clinic reduces depression symptoms and family conflict among youth.

Subproject 1: Parent-adolescent conflict in family-based treatment of depressed youth

Parent-adolescent conflict has been shown both to be a factor in the development of adolescent depression, as well as a negative predictor of treatment outcome. As parent-adolescent conflict is directly targeted by ABFT, we wish to explore the impact of conflict on treatment process and outcome, in ABFT and in treatment as usual. We will also explore whether there are patient or parent factors related to change in level of conflict over the course of treatment.

Subproject 2: Suicidal ideation and adverse events in a clinical trial testing the effectiveness of ABFT for depressed adolescents

The specific focus is to explore and document the prevalence of suicidal ideation and negative events in the clinical trial. We will also explore the relationship between suicidal ideation, negative events and family conflict and document its association with outcome of the treatment.

Proposed Projects in Collaboration with CFIS

  • Implementation of ABFT in community Mental Health Centers in Norway (BUP)
  • Feasibility of ABFT cross-culturally: A pilot study in India