Common Factors in Pediatric Psychiatry: A Review of Essential and Adjunctive Mechanisms of Treatment Outcome

Alessandro S. De Nadai, Marc S. Karver, Tanya K. Murphy, Mark A. Cavitt, Jeffrey L. Alvaro, Michael Bengtson, Saundra Stock, Andrew C. Rakhshani, Eric A. Storch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this article is to review the literature on hypothesized behavioral correlates of pharmacotherapy treatment response. A particular focus is placed on what have been referred to as "common factors" across mental health treatments, including medication adherence, therapeutic alliance, motivation for behavior change, and expectancies for positive treatment outcomes. These understudied factors may provide unique explanations for mechanisms of symptom change, patient risk as a result of protocol deviation, and attenuated treatment outcomes. Method: A literature search was conducted to evaluate the relationship between treatment processes in pediatric psychiatry and medication adherence, therapeutic alliance, motivation for behavior change, and expectancies for positive treatment outcomes. Results: Substantial variability and room for improvement was identified for each common factor. Behavioral protocols have already been developed to address many aspects of common factors in pediatric psychiatric treatment, but are not yet a part of many practice parameters. Conclusion: Interventions to improve common factors can be used immediately in tandem with psychopharmacological interventions to provide increased symptom relief and reduce patient risk. Furthermore, incorporating instruction in common factors interventions can positively affect training of future providers and enhance understanding of the mechanisms of effect of medications. An increased focus on common factors, with a particular emphasis on quantifying the magnitude and mechanisms of their effects on psychopharmacological interventions stand to benefit child patients, their families, treatment providers, training facilities, and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-18
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2017

Keywords

  • adherence
  • alliance
  • common factors
  • expectancies
  • motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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