The 2009 Research Forum, “Investigating the Effects of Psychotherapy on Children and Adolescents: Learning from the Past - Moving Forward,” co-chaired by David Shaffer, F.R.C.P., F.R.C.Psych., David Brent, M.D., and Neal Ryan, M.D. was held at the AACAP Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawai’i on October 27, 2009. Studies such as TORDIA, MTA, TADS, CAMS, POTS, and ADAPT brought together teams of child psychiatrists, psychologists, methodologists and biostatisticians who have both changed the shape of child psychiatry practice and research and raised as many questions as they have answered. The 2009 Research Forum was stimulated by questions arising from the psychotherapy components of these studies.
The 2008 Research Forum, “What Is Longitudinal Research Informing Us about Clinical Disorders and Psychopathology?” co-chaired by David Shaffer, F.R.C.P., F.R.C.Psych., Helen Egger, M.D., and James McGough, M.D. was held in Chicago at the AACAP Annual Meeting on October 28, 2008. The Forum served as a longitudinal research review course that summarized recent follow up studies of the common psychiatric disorders of children and adolescents and the extent to which variation of outcome within a single diagnosis reflects subtype, comorbidity or other identifiable elements. The presentations considered whether variation in natural history is adequately displayed in the current classification of the disorders and where it is possible to determine the mechanisms that might underlie variable outcome. Attendees gained information on the course of the common psychiatric disorders of childhood that will be useful in future research studies and clinical settings.
The 2007 Research Forum, “The Future of Neuroimaging: Relevance for Child Psychiatry”, co-chaired by Brad Peterson, M.D., Danny Pine, M.D., and John Gore, Ph.D. was held at the AACAP Annual Meeting in Boston, MA on October 23, 2007. The Forum consisted of a series of presentations focusing on key insights emerging for various conditions, based on diverse methods. The presentations reviewed results from studies of both normal and abnormal development, relying on a range of brain imaging methods. The 2007 Research Forum attendees developed an understanding of the range of brain imaging modalities being used in child and adolescent psychiatry research and became aware of key, recent findings in various clinical disorders that rely on these techniques and recognized key questions to be addressed in future studies.
The 2006 Research Forum, “Protective and Risk Factors in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder: predicting outcomes” was held in San Diego, CA. The Forum, chaired by Robert Findling, M.D., Gabrielle Carlson, M.D., and Robert Post, M.D., was sold out three weeks prior to the event with over 120 attendees. The Forum examined rates of recovery for children, adolescents and adults with bipolar disorder, and determined what developmental and other differences and commonalities might emerge when various outcomes are considered. A summation of the proceedings of this Forum is currently in preparation. This document should provide the field with a cogent summation of what is known, what needs to be known, and means by which future research can help researchers learn more about this condition so that lives of children and adolescents suffering from bipolar illnesses can be improved.
The 2005 Research Forum, “Research Literacy: Speeding the Adoption of Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) in Pediatric Psychiatry” was held in Toronto, CANADA. The Forum demonstrated the ready availability and wide applicability of EBM as applied to research, post-graduate and medical education, and clinical practice in an effort to speed its adoption as the standard heuristic for gaining and maintaining research literacy in child, adolescent and adult psychiatry.
The 2004 Research Forum, “Issues in the Conduct and Interpretation of Studies of Adolescent Depression,” was held in Washington, DC. The Forum reviewed problems and controversies that have become apparent in conducting and interpreting treatment research in adolescent depression and assisted the field by identifying a research agenda that would improve the quality of further research.
The 2003 Research Forum, “Assessment of Safety in Child Mental Health Research: Obstacles and Opportunities” was held in Miami Beach, FL. The meeting addressed the need to develop better methods for assessing the safety of psychosocial and psychopharmacological treatments in controlled clinical trials.
The 2002 Forum, “Placebo and Alternatives to Placebo in Randomized Controlled Trials in Pediatric Psychopharmacology” was held in San Francisco, CA. This Forum convened a panel of experts including researchers, ethicists and IRB experts, regulatory experts, parent advocacy groups and industry representatives to determine when the use of a pill placebo is clearly justifiable in randomized, controlled trials and when it is not.
The 2001 Research Forum, "Recruitment in Child Mental Health Research: Obstacles and Opportunities," focused on recruiting and assessing child participants in clinical trials. A major recommendation that emerged from the 2001 Forum encouraged the utilization of media outlets to emphasize the many benefits of pediatric clinical trials, in order to eliminate the often biased and distorted portrayals of research in child and adolescent psychiatry.
The 2000 Research Forum, "Optimal Strategies for Developing and Implementing Psychopharmacological Studies in Preschool Children," dealt with optimizing the psychopharmacology clinical trial strategy for preschool children. Recommendations from this forum agreed with other recent initiatives on children's mental health, including conferences sponsored by the Surgeon General, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Pediatric Psychopharmacology Initiative (PPI) was created as a result of this Forum.