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FOR5187 (DFG FG), Project SP3, SP7, SP8

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Towards precision psychotherapy for non-respondent patients: From signatures to predictions to clinical utility

Although cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a first-line treatment for internalizing disorders, a substantial proportion of patients fail to benefit - with severe consequences for patients and costs for societies. Precision mental health can help to identify patients at risk for non-response (NR) already prior to treatment initialization. The paucity of standard clinical features that allow for single-case predictions serves as an impetus to search for additional layers of NR. The work program of this Research Unit (RU) will foster the development of precision psychotherapy by i) investigating clinical and bio-behavioral signatures of NR to improve our understanding of this phenomenon, ii) applying state-of-the-art machine learning technology for single-case predictions, and iii) validating these for clinical utility in an ecologically valid treatment setting, bringing together four major academic outpatient clinics in Berlin. To achieve this, we set up a prospective-longitudinal multicenter observational study on n = 500 patients with internalizing disorders who will be deeply phenotyped prior to CBT using hypotheses-based clinical, e-mental health, psychophysiological and neuroimaging measures. The Research Division of Mind and Brain is involved in three sub-projects of the RU (SP3, SP7, SP8) which all focus on fMRI. SP3 is supervising the fMRI data acquisition and performing network-based analysis of resting-state data.  

Members: Sarah Wellan (SP3), Charlotte Meinke (HU, SP7), Sabrina Golde (FU, SP8) 
Head: Project SP3 Henrik Walter / Felix Blankenburg (FU), SP7 Kevin Hilbert (HU) / Henrik Walter, SP8 Susanne Erk / Stephan Heinzel (Dortmund) 

Funding: DFG Research Unit, project number 442075332 

contact: Prof. Dr. Dr. Henrik Walter