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UCLA Children’s to Study Telehealth Use for Pediatric Behavioral Healthcare

May 29, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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The University of California at Los Angeles’ (UCLA) Mattel Children’s Hospital has been granted a $1.6 million research award to study how telemedicine can be used to deliver behavioral health services to pediatric patients in community primary care settings. The grant will go to the Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute at the hospital.

The grant is an award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), a non-profit research entity that aims to deliver evidence-based information to patients, their caregivers and clinicians. The research at UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital will focus on the integration of developmental, behavioral, and mental health services into pediatric primary care using live videoconferencing technology. It will look to see if telehealth can be effective, efficient, and family-centered for children in low-income communities.

“One of the key strengths of this project will be the emphasis on the partnership between UCLA researchers, the community clinics and the families to develop and test this strategy to bring behavioral health services into the primary care setting using live videoconferencing visits,” Tumaini R. Coker, M.D., lead researcher of the project, said in a statement.

Working on this project will be researchers from UCLA’s general pediatrics, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry, and the UCLA/RAND Prevention Research Center and the UCLA Center for Health Services and Society, as well as a large multi-site community clinic consortium.

It is one of 51 projects totaling more than $88.5 million approved for funding by PCORI’s Board of Governors on May 6. Recently, in April, PCORI announced funding of up to $68 million to support development of a National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network.

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