Project Summary

This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.

What is the research about?

Youth with disabilities are more likely than their peers to feel anxious and depressed. Many of these youth receive care coordination. This type of care links youth to health care and social services. But many care coordination models don’t include mental health treatment.

In this study, the research team is comparing two ways to improve mental health for youth with disabilities. The first way is usual care coordination from a state agency. In usual care coordination, a state agency assesses each youth’s needs and links youth to resources.

The second way is usual care coordination services plus the CHECK program. In the CHECK program, youth with symptoms of depression or anxiety receive mental health treatment. The treatment teaches youth how to cope with stress and negative feelings and improve relationships. A trained behavioral healthcare team leads treatment, which includes one-on-one or group meetings and online games.

Who can this research help?

Results may help care coordination agencies when considering ways to provide mental health care for youth with disabilities.

What is the research team doing?

The research team is enrolling 780 youth with disabilities who are ages 13–20. Youth are receiving care coordination from a state agency in Illinois. The team is assigning youth by chance to receive usual care coordination services with or without the CHECK program.

The research team is asking youth about anxiety and depression symptoms at the start of the study and again 6, 12, and 24 months later. The team is also asking youth about:

  • Their health behaviors
  • How well they can perform activities of daily living
  • Quality of life
  • How ready they feel to become an adult
  • Their experience with care coordination

Youth with disabilities, families, and care coordinators are helping to plan and conduct this study.

Research methods at a glance

Design Element Description
Design Randomized controlled trial
Population 780 youth ages 13–20 with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities
  • Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) care coordination services
  • MCHB care coordination services plus the CHECK program

Primary: symptoms and episodes of depression and anxiety

Secondary: adaptive functioning; health-related quality of life; health behaviors; transition readiness; self-efficacy; resilience; rumination; coping; cognitive style; social support; satisfaction with care-coordination; acceptability, feasibility, and appropriateness of interventions

Timeframe Timeframe Length of follow-up for collecting data on primary outcomes. View Glossary 24-month follow-up for primary outcome

Project Information

Benjamin Van Voorhees, MD, MPH
Kristin Berg, PhD
University of Illinois at Chicago
BEhavioral Health Stratified Treatment (BEST) to Optimize Transition to Adulthood for Youth with IDD

Key Dates

July 2021
January 2028

Study Registration Information


Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: January 20, 2023