A History of Child and Adolescent Treatment Through a Distillation Lens: Looking Back to Move Forward

Kelsie H. Okamura*, Trina E. Orimoto, Brad J. Nakamura, Bree Chang, Bruce F. Chorpita, Rinad S. Beidas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Youth psychosocial treatments have proliferated over many decades and the time is ripe to examine the unique contribution of these treatments. Six hundred eighty-nine randomized clinical trials were examined from the PracticeWise Evidence-Based Services Database, an ongoing data source of youth psychosocial literature. A number of studies, treatment protocols, and practice elements across 11 youth problem areas (e.g., anxiety) from 1966 to 2016 are provided. Using distillation methodology, we compared the relationship between new treatment protocols and the identification of new practice elements within each problem area over time. Anxiety, disruptive behavior, attention/hyperactivity, and depression were the most studied problem areas, whereas suicide, eating disorders, and mania were least studied. While identification of new practice elements leveled off, studies continued to increase over time. For some problem areas, unique practice elements have not been identified for over a decade. Future studies examining treatment innovation and implications for behavioral health are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-85
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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