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Strategic Treatment Assessment with Youth (STAY): A measurement-based care approach to promote treatment retention among racial and ethnic minoritized youth with depression or suicide risk


Research Team


Principal Investigator: Lorey Wheeler

Funding Information

Funding Agency: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Subcontract from: Yale University

Award Date: Jan 16, 2024

End Date: Nov 30, 2024


* This project is funded by a subcontract from Yale University.

Despite high rates of need, racial and ethnic minority (REM) youth are significantly less likely to stay in mental health services as compared to their White peers. This is due in part to perceptions of poor treatment alliance between youth and clinicians and concerns about treatment relevance and acceptability. 

This project offers an innovative, culturally relevant model to retain REM youth with depression and suicidal ideation in mental health services, to reduce disparities and improve patient outcomes. 
Existing engagement interventions are limited, with few addressing treatment retention among REM youth. Measurement-based care (MBC) is an evidence-based, patient-centered practice which involves collecting patient-reported progress data throughout treatment to inform treatment planning and shared decision-making. Although MBC is an outstanding candidate to improve treatment engagement because, it has not been systematically examined as a treatment engagement strategy for REM youth with depressive disorders. 

Based on past research, we have developed a theoretically driven, culturally tailored model of MBC, Strategic Treatment Assessment for Youth (STAY). This model targets therapeutic alliance and treatment relevance and acceptability, concerns which are particularly relevant to REM youth and their caregivers, to improve treatment retention, depression symptoms and suicide outcomes. Initial pilot data from clinicians, REM youth and their caregivers suggest STAY is acceptable, feasible and culturally relevant. 
Researchers will develop a STAY clinical intervention protocol and conduct a pilot study to assess the effectiveness of STAY.

Social, Emotional and Behavioral Well-being, Research, Measurement and Evaluation Methods