19. March 2018

NOK 17,6 million to research on treatments of mental health problems in children and adolescents

The Kavli Trust awards 17,6 million NOK to research on treatments of mental health problems in children and adolescents. Two projects will receive funding from the Kavli Trust's programme on health research in 2018.

Press release, Oslo 03.19.2018

Following a thorough application and review process, the board of the Kavli Trust in Norway has decided to award a total of 17.6 million NOK to two research projects seeking to provide new knowledge about treatments of mental health problems in children and adolescents.

“We are delighted to finally be able to announce the grantees. The scientific level of the applications was high, and the work conducted by the scientific committees has been invaluable. We started developing the Kavli Trust Programme on Health Research about a year ago and the process has been both challenging and interesting,” says Jan Ole Hesselberg, Programme Manager at The Kavli Trust Programme on Health Research.

The two projects that will receive funding are:

 PROJECT 1: Evaluation of the Teaching Recovery Techniques Intervention to decrease mental health symptoms and increase coping among refugee and asylum seeking children (granted 8.562 M NOK)

”Receiving this grant means a lot to me and my team. It proves that we were doing the right thing when we embarked on a research and system development endeavour to alleviate the mental health problems of refugee children. With no major funding, we conducted a proof of concept trial on the most vulnerable kids, those arriving alone. By the time the Kavli grant came out, we were ready for a big trial, says Anna Sarkadi, professor in Social Medicine at Uppsala University and principal investigator of the project.

PROJECT 2: Feasibility, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of therapist guided internet-delivered Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Adolescents with mild to moderate Depression (granted 9.012 M NOK)

“We are delighted to receive support from the Kavli Trust. We have been impressed by the rigor of the selection process. Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide, but only a minority of patients have access to evidence-based treatments. We will develop and evaluate a novel cost-effective approach to disseminate psychological treatment for adolescents with depression via the Internet,”, says Eva Serlachius, Head of research at the Child- and Adolescent Psychiatry Research Center in Stockholm and principal investigator of the project.

“We are impressed with the Kavli Trust, who have been bold and innovative in deciding to develop and implement this program for health research, designed to address and provide important knowledge on evidence gaps in children and adolescents mental health,” says Ida Svege, Senior Adviser at the Kavli Trust research programme.

“We are delighted by the announcement and congratulate the two grant recipients, both worthy and with a great potential to advance important knowledge in their fields” says general manager of the Kavli Trust, Inger Elise Iversen.

“Through this programme the Kavli Trust has improved its process for choosing research projects to fund, and we now witness the results in the form of granting these two ambitious and important projects. We are also pleased to see that in both Finland, Norway, Sweden and the UK, the four countries in which the Kavli group has production facilities, several strong research environments were represented by submitting high quality applications in the 2017 call,” says Inger Elise Iversen.

The decision to grant these two research projects marks the end of the first year of a three-year commitment. The 2018 call for proposals was opened this January, and 34 pre-proposals were submitted within the deadline. The last call for proposals in this 3-year program will be announced in January 2019.

FOR INQUIRES PLEASE CONTACT:

Jan-Ole Hesselberg, Programme Manager, The Kavli Trust Programme on Health Research:
joh@kavlifondet.no
M+47 900 71 673

Ida Svege, Programme Adviser, The Kavli Trust Programme on Health Research:
is@kavlifondet.no
M +47 917 11 952

Inger Elise Iversen, General Manager, The Kavli Trust:
ingerelise.iversen@kavlifondet.no
M + 47 908 94 567

Anna Sarkadi, Professor in Social Medicine, Uppsala University and principal investigator of project 1:
anna.sarkadi@pubcare.uu.se
M +46 706113691

Eva Serlachius, PhD, Associate Professor/Head of research at the Child- and Adolescent Psychiatry Research Center in Stockholm and principal investigator of project 2:
eva.serlachius@ki.se
M +46 8 514 52209

PHOTO:

Photos of the recipients, program representatives and general manager may be downloaded here for free.

BACKGROUND FACTS: THE PROJECTS

Evaluation of the Teaching Recovery Techniques intervention to decrease mental health symptoms and increase coping among refugee and asylum seeking children:

• The project addresses the evidence gap “What is the effect of interventions for refugee and asylum seeking children?”

• The project can provide knowledge regarding whether a psychoeducational group intervention program can reduce symptoms of posttraumatic stress syndrome and depression in asylum-seeking children and adolescents.

• The research team possess extensive and relevant experience and is led by Professor Anna Sarkadi.

• The host institution is Uppsala University, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences. Important collaborators include University in Östersund, University of Manchester, Norwegian Institute of Health and University of Utah.

• The project period is 2018-2021.

Feasibility, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of therapist guided internet-delivered Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Adolescents with mild to moderate Depression:

• The project addresses the evidence gap “What is the effect of internet-based interventions for children, youth, and young adults with anxiety and/or depression?”

• The project can provide knowledge regarding whether internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy interventions can reduce symptom severity in adolescents with depressive disorders, and thus represent a cost-effective and highly available treatment alternative for this patient group.

• The research team possess extensive and relevant experience and is led by Associate Professor Eva Serlachius

• The host institution is Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (BUP) Stockholm, Stockholm County Council. Important collaborators include Karolinska Institutet, Umeå University and King’s College London.

• The project period is 2018-2023

BACKGROUND OF THE PROGRAMME

Call for Proposals 2017
Call for Proposals 2018
Op-ed on Reducing avoidable waste in health research

The process of application and review

Mental health problems in children and adolescents make up a considerable part of today’s global disease burden but funding for research addressing these problems is sparse. For a variety of reasons a significant part of today’s health research is wasted and the Kavli Trust is committed to limiting research waste by anchoring research funding in established and prioritized evidence gaps (as documented in updated systematic reviews).

Program methodology/process

Field of research: Based on an evaluation comparing disease burden and distribution of research funding for different health categories, which supported that the field of mental health research is underfinanced, the board of the Kavli Trust decided to allocate funding to research projects addressing mental health in children and adolescents.

Identification of evidence gaps: A strategic scientific committee reviewed updated systematic overviews to identify key evidence gaps within mental health in children and adolescents. A total of 22 evidence gaps were identified.

Prioritization of evidence gaps: The 22 evidence gaps underwent prioritization of a user panel, consisting of organisations representing patients and their relatives and relevant health personnel.

Call for proposal: The 2017 Call for proposal was based on the 10 evidence gaps ranked most important by the user panel, and the applicants had to design studies addressing one or more of the selected evidence gaps.

Application and review process: The application process was designed as a two-step process. First 31 short pre-proposals were submitted and in the following reviewed by the Kavli Trust review committee. The 10 applications with the highest rank were invited to prepare and submit full proposals. The review committee reviewed the quality of the projects and discussed them in a panel meeting. The final ranking from the review committee served as a recommendation to the Kavli Trust board regarding which projects to grant.

Decision and follow-up: The board of the Kavli Trust followed the recommendation from the review committee and decided on March 11th 2018 to award a total of 17.6 M NOK to the two highest ranked projects.

“The Kavli Trust will follow the two projects closely during the project periods and has great expectations regarding the relevance and impact of the project results,”, says general manager of the Kavli Trust, Inger Elise Iversen.

Photo Project 1


Anna Sarkadi (photo by Mikael Wallersted) &  Anna Bjärtå, Mid Sweden University (photo by Tina Stafrén).


Keeshin Brooks, University of Utah & Rachel Calam, University of Manchester

Portraits: Anna Sarkadi
Group photo: Anna Sarkadi and her research team at Uppsala University. Several will work with her on the project awarded by the Kavli Trust.
All photo credits: Uppsala University

Photo Project 2

Titles of the members of the research team led by Eva Serlachius:

Fabian Lenhard, PhD/Acting head of the clinical research unit at Stockholm Child and Adolescent Healthcare Service; Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Photo credit: Gustaf Brander

David Mataix-Cols, PhD, professor, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet. Photo credit: Martin Hammar

Sarah Vigerland, Ph.D., Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet. Photo credit: Martin Hammar

Eva Henje Blom, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Science, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Umeå University, Photo credit: Mattias Pettersson, Umeå University

Johan Åhlén, PhD, Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Photo credit: personal photo

The Kavli trust

From the left:
Jan-Ole Hesselberg, Programme Manager, The Kavli Trust Programme on Health Research
Inger Elise Iversen, CEO, The Kavli Trust
Ida Svege, Senior Advisor, The Kavli Trust Programme on Health Research