June 21, 2016 – Adaptive Interventions in Child and Adolescent Mental Health
The treatment or prevention of child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) disorders often requires an individualized, sequential approach to intervention, whereby treatments (or prevention efforts) are adapted over time based on the youth’s evolving status (e.g., early response, adherence). Adaptive interventions are intended to provide a replicable guide for the provision of individualized sequences of interventions in actual clinical practice. Recently, there has been great interest in the development of adaptive intervenions by investigators working in CAMH. The development of such replicable, real-world, individualized sequences of decision rules to guide the treatment or prevention of CAMH disorders represents an important “next step” in interventions research. The primary purpose of this special issue is to showcase some recent work on the science of adaptive interventions in CAMH. In this overview article, we review why individualized sequences of interventions are needed in CAMH, provide an introduction to adaptive interventions, briefly describe each of the articles included in this special issue, and describe some exciting areas of ongoing and future research. A hopeful outcome of this special issue is that it encourages other researchers in CAMH to pursue creative and significant research on adaptive interventions.