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Clinical research and practice in child psychiatry


Admission requirements

Students can enroll for a half minor if they have obtained 60 credits from the first year.

International Students should have an adequate background in Medicine. Parts of the course, in specific the presentation of patients, will be in Dutch. Admission will be considered based on CV and motivation letter.
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In this half minor, we focus on clinical practice and on practice based research issues in child mental health. By presenting clinical challenges, students will be stimulated to reflect scientifically, to analyze problems and to search for ways to study phenomena. Particular emphasis will be on time-related changes, in relation to development, environmental conditions and treatment. Experts will present the state-of-the-art of their topics (e.g., affective disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, behavioural disorders, autism, and psychosis). Furthermore students will be able to visit several Child Mental Health Care units and patient demonstrations will be given. Research and clinical experience will be explicitly integrated. The goal for students is to learn about the most recent developments on research and clinical practice of child mental health care problems for which a practical orientation and an academic level of conceptual and analytic thinking are needed. Focus will be on study design that fit lineal practice, both quantitative and qualitative.
A the start, students will be divided in four groups of four-five persons each. Each group will be mentored by a senior researcher. This mentor will be able to evaluate the progress of each student in his own group. Furthermore the mentor will support the student in the whole process of making a research proposal.

1. Meet the Experts: State-of art knowledge on several Child Mental Health topics (week 1-2)
2. Introduction in Child Mental Health Research (week 3)
3. Introduction in Child Mental Health Research (week 4)
4. Substance Use Disorders (week 5-6)
5. Eating Disorders (week 7)
6. Complex Youth Psychiatry (week 8-9)
7. Research Proposal (week 1-10)

Course objectives

General learning objectives:

The student is able to:

  • professionally implement his knowledge, insight and competences to function well within the health system and in medical sciences related situations

  • collect and interpret relevant information in the area of medical sciences to make a decision based on relevant social, scientific, and ethical aspects

  • communicate information, ideas, and solutions to an audience with or without medical experts

  • posses the capacity to perform autonomously a high level follow-up study

Specific learning objectives

The student is able to:

A. share and communicate state-of-the art knowledge on several important child mental health issues (Academic, Medical expert)
B. describe how the issues of development and family involvement interfere with clinical practices and research in child mental health (Medical expert)
C. critically asses and review child mental health literature using Strobe, Consort and Quorum guidelines (Academic)
D. formulate research aims and methods while considering medical-ethical aspects (Academic, Collaborator)
E. explain the advantages and disadvantages of different research designs (both quantitative and qualitative) that can be used in child mental health (Academic)\
F. present and explain societal and professional standards as well as ethical issues that are relevant while conducting child mental health research (Academic)
G. evaluate patients’ (child, adolescent and parent) current complaints by using various diagnostic methods (exploring both patient as well as his context) in order to determine whether signs and symptoms relate to an underlying (child) psychiatric disorder (Medical expert)
H. write a GP letter given a clinical case description in which the diagnostic and treatment plan are correctly presented and motivated (Medical expert, Communicator)
I. use in-depth knowledge of various explanatory models of specific pathologies (i.e. eating disorders, Severe Disruptive Behavior Disorders, and addiction) in order to critically evaluate research designs on interventions directed on these pathologies (Academic, Medical expert)
J. formulate and communicate clearly a research proposal in collaboration integrating state-of-the-art-knowledge, relevant literature and a suitable research design (Academic, Medical expert, Communicator)

Place in the curriculum

This module will follow-up on “Hersenen en Aansturing” and “Vraagstukken Psychisch functioneren”. It gives students the chance to expand their knowledge regarding to mental health by focusing on children and adolescents with mental health problems and by intensifying their knowledge on specific topics within this field (i.e. Eating Disorders, Forensic Youth Psychiatry, and addiction). This knowledge will help the student for example in their “coschappen” and their further career when treating a patient with (a history of) child psychiatric problems. Furthermore, the module builds on the line “Academische en wetenschappelijke vorming” by giving students with an interest in (child) mental health research the chance to practice with preparing a research design within this field.

Assessment methods

The assessment plan consists of

  • Knowledge exam (2x)

  • Final Task: Research proposal

  • Final Task: Poster Presentation

  • Additional requirements (Passed/Failed) • Oral presentation (2x) • Clinical case description: GP letter