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Social Work Faculty Along with USF Colleagues Receive R01 Grant from National Institute of Mental Health
Alison Salloum, PhD (PI; School of Social Work), along with co-investigators John Robst, PhD (MHLP), Wei Wang, PhD (College of Public Health), Kristen Saloman, PhD (College of Arts and Science), Tanya Murphy, MD (College of Medicine Pediatrics) and Eric Storch, PhD (College of Medicine Pediatrics) received a 4-year National Institute of Mental Health R01 grant to examine how to optimize the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of a stepped care therapy for children ages 4 to 12 who have experienced trauma.

Approximately 68-80% of youth will experience at least one potentially traumatic event during their childhood with about one third experiencing more than one traumatic event. Exposure to traumatic events markedly elevates the risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and associated impairment. Despite advances in effective trauma-focused treatments for children, the lack of efficient, accessible, personalized, and cost-effective trauma treatment for children is a major public health concern. Thus, there is a critical need for interventions to improve efficiency, access, and cost-effectiveness and to offer tailored approaches that meet the unique needs of the child. Three community agencies, (Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Pasco Kids First, and Directions for Living) have joined with Dr. Salloum and her colleagues to test new stepped care therapy for children after trauma that was developed through a NIMH R34 grant previously awarded to Dr. Salloum. In a randomized clinical trial, 216 children ages 4 to 12 years at community-based agencies will be randomly assigned to receive either stepped care or standard care, and they will be followed for one year to see if treatment gains are maintained. This study will examine the economic cost of delivering Stepped Care versus standard care, and will utilize innovative methods to learn how to best tailor treatment to meet the child's needs.

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