AIM Implementation & Equity Grantee: Dr. Evelyn Cho
Dr. Evelyn Cho is a postdoctoral fellow in the Lab for Youth Mental Health at Harvard University. Her program of research focuses on supporting high quality implementation of evidence-based practices for youths and families receiving mental health care in community settings. Through the iterative redesign and evaluation of mental health treatments and clinician support tools, she aims to make accessible the tools needed to deliver effective mental health treatments for youths and families.
Project Description: Mental health care disparities limit the opportunity for the clinical benefit of mental health treatments for racially, ethnically minoritized youths and families from low-income backgrounds. These underserved youths are less likely to access mental health services, less likely to receive evidence-based treatments (EBTs) when they do access care, and more likely to experience treatment engagement challenges while receiving an EBT compared to their peers from White and economically advantaged backgrounds. Recent innovations in treatment design have led to the development of personalized, transdiagnostic and modular treatments that are flexibly delivered to address youth- and family-identified treatment targets. While such approaches have demonstrated effectiveness in multiple clinical trials and have been proposed as a promising approach to address the mental health needs of minoritized youths and families, it remains unclear whether these approaches confer comparable clinical benefits to underserved youths.
To address this question, Dr. Cho will pool data from four randomized clinical trials to explore the extent to which MATCH, a personalized intervention for youth anxiety, depression, conduct, and trauma, may mitigate race- and income-based mental health care disparities. Specifically, Dr. Cho will explore whether family-identified treatment targets, treatment engagement, and clinical outcomes differ by family race, ethnicity, and income level for youths who received MATCH. Findings from this study may guide future efforts to disseminate mental health services to youths and families in community settings and inform adaptations to treatment design and delivery to maximize outcomes for underserved youths and families.