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      A randomized controlled trial of cognitive debiasing improves assessment and treatment selection for pediatric bipolar disorder.


      Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

      American Psychological Association (APA)

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          <div class="section"> <a class="named-anchor" id="S1"> <!-- named anchor --> </a> <h5 class="section-title" id="d5255685e128">Objective</h5> <p id="P1">This study examined the efficacy of a new cognitive debiasing intervention in reducing decision-making errors in the assessment of pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD). </p> </div><div class="section"> <a class="named-anchor" id="S2"> <!-- named anchor --> </a> <h5 class="section-title" id="d5255685e133">Method</h5> <p id="P2">The study was a randomized controlled trial using case vignette methodology. Participants were 137 mental health professionals working in different regions of the US ( <i>M</i>=8.6±7.5 years of experience). Participants were randomly assigned to a (1) brief overview of PBD (control condition), or (2) the same brief overview plus a cognitive debiasing intervention (treatment condition) that educated participants about common cognitive pitfalls (e.g., base-rate neglect; search satisficing) and taught corrective strategies (e.g., mnemonics, Bayesian tools). Both groups evaluated four identical case vignettes. Primary outcome measures were clinicians’ diagnoses and treatment decisions. The vignette characters’ race/ethnicity was experimentally manipulated. </p> </div><div class="section"> <a class="named-anchor" id="S3"> <!-- named anchor --> </a> <h5 class="section-title" id="d5255685e141">Results</h5> <p id="P3">Participants in the treatment group showed better overall judgment accuracy, <i>p</i> &lt; .001, and committed significantly fewer decision-making errors, <i>p</i> &lt; .001. Inaccurate and somewhat accurate diagnostic decisions were significantly associated with different treatment and clinical recommendations, particularly in cases where participants missed comorbid conditions, failed to detect the possibility of hypomania or mania in depressed youths, and misdiagnosed classic manic symptoms. In contrast, effects of patient race were negligible. </p> </div><div class="section"> <a class="named-anchor" id="S4"> <!-- named anchor --> </a> <h5 class="section-title" id="d5255685e152">Conclusions</h5> <p id="P4">The cognitive debiasing intervention outperformed the control condition. Examining specific heuristics in cases of PBD may identify especially problematic mismatches between typical habits of thought and characteristics of the disorder. The debiasing intervention was brief and delivered via the Web; it has the potential to generalize and extend to other diagnoses as well as to various practice and training settings. </p> </div>

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          Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
          Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
          American Psychological Association (APA)
          April 2016
          April 2016
          : 84
          : 4
          : 323-333
          © 2016


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