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A comparative overview of treatment research methodology: adult vs. child and adolescent, psychopharmacological vs. psychosocial treatments



A comparative overview of treatment research methodology: adult vs. child and adolescent, psychopharmacological vs. psychosocial treatments



Psychopharmacology Bulletin 29(1): 5-17



This article provides a broad overview in a comparison format of some general methodological issues relevant to treatment research with children and adolescents. Two sets of comparisons are required to develop vigorous child and adolescent treatment research methodology: differences in methodology between adult and child/adolescent treatment studies, and similarities and differences between psychopharmacological and psychosocial treatment research in children and adolescents. This article discusses these issues and organizes them into tabular comparisons. Adult and child/adolescent methodologies differ in many ways, including ethics, recruitment, compliance, nature of variables and confounds, development and maturation, physiology, assessment, contextual factors, and background assumptions. Future treatment studies must increasingly assess interactions and additive or synergistic effects of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments. Integration of both treatment modalities into the same study requires knowledge of similarities and differences in their respective methodologies. This article compares and contrasts pharmacological and psychosocial research methodologies on 11 issues: diagnostic assessment, subject selection, design, controls, length of study, sample size, developmental issues, nature and frequency of contacts with subjects, compliance facilitation, outcome assessment, and data analysis and interpretation.

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Accession: 029618606

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PMID: 8378511


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