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IAMHealth – Improving outcomes for people with autism spectrum disorders by reducing mental health problems

Introduction

The IAMHealth study is a programme grant funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), entitled “Improving outcomes for people with autism spectrum disorders by reducing mental health problems”. The programme started in May 2014 and will run for 5 years.

The principal investigator on this programme is Professor Emily Simonoff. The grant co-investigators are Professor Gillian Baird, Professor Bryony Beresford , Professor Tony Charman, Martin Knapp, Professor Declan Murphy, Professor Andrew Pickles, Ms Carol Povey, Dr Paramala Santosh, Dr Vicky Slonims and Professor Stephen Scott. The research administrator is Monika Kovacs.

The programme is comprised of five work packages:

Patient Public Involvement

PPI (Public & Participant Involvement) are involved in all aspects of the research- from reviewing research questions to considering feasibility of data acquisition.

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Development of an Assessment of Concerning Behaviour (ACB)

Develop and standardize an instrument to identify and assess causes of severe maladaptive behaviour – the Severe Maladaptive Rating Tool (SMART)

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Biographies

Understand and describe the emergence of mental health problems from the perspectives of adolescents, young adults and parents/carers; their experiences of seeking help; and the impact of these problems on their lives.

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Predictors (Quest Follow Up)

Identify the personal, family and wider environmental risk/resilience factors for persistent/escalating SMB in adolescence so that future interventions can be personalised to target those at greatest risk.

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Treatment (ASTAR)

Develop and test a universal intervention focussed on parents of young children who have recently received a diagnosis of ASD. The treatment will aim to help parents identify emerging mental health problems and develop their skills in managing/reducing these problems.

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