Voimaperheet® (Strongest Families)

Voimaperheet is an intervention project of the Research Centre for Child Psychiatry, University of Turku. We develop, evaluate and implement digitally delivered, preventive interventions aiming at increasing the psychosocial wellbeing of children, adolescent and families, as well as low-threshold targeted interventions to tackle mental health problems that start in childhood and early adolescence and have high public health significance.

Digitalized delivery strives for overcoming barriers associated with face-to-face treatment, such as childcare and traveling time, parental work schedules, stigma, and the inequality, i.e. lack of treatment possibilities in remote areas. The interventions are built on evidence-based methods to promote self-efficacy and psychosocial skills, and prevent later adversities in life.

The early biological and psychosocial risk factors of mental health disturbances, and the changes in the need of mental health services are identified in large epidemiological studies, to help planning the preventive strategies and to assess the effects of the changing society.

Transition from costly and strenuous special health care and child welfare services to early detection and prevention requires scientific research to support the decision-making. Our research project is committed to support evidence-based policy and provide the general public as well as social welfare, health care, early childhood education and teaching professionals cost‐efficient and practical tools for the detection and early intervention of mental health symptoms.

Targeted interventions

Digitalized cognitive-behavioral intervention for depressive symptoms during pregnancy

The main aim of the research project is to evaluate the effectiveness of the digitalized CBT-intervention “YHDESSÄ VAHVAKSI” in treatment of perinatal depressive symptoms in mothers screened from the general population. We will also assess the personal, familial and treatment-related factors that may affect the impact of the treatment.

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Digitalized Parent Training Intervention for Disruptive Behavior in 4-Year Old Children

Parental training is the most effective approach to the psychosocial treatment of disruptive behavior and one of the best‐validated therapeutic techniques. Parents who take part in training interventions typically learn to identify, define and observe problem behaviors in new ways and acquire strategies to prevent and respond to oppositional behavior.

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Digitalized cognitive-behavioral intervention for anxiety among school aged children

Anxiety is the most common psychiatric problem in childhood. It causes significant functional impairment at home, school and in social situations.

The aim of this study is to develop an internet-based cognitive-behavioral intervention with telephone coaching, and study it’s efficacy among school-aged children, whose anxiety symptoms are screened at routine school health care check-ups.

In the long term, the objective is to implement a digitalized, low-threshold, effective treatment for childhood anxiety to the Finnish basic health care system – to treat anxiety, tackle the functional impairment, as well as prevent the negative long-term outcomes of childhood anxiety by decreasing human suffering as well as economic burden.

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Universal interventions

Digitally Delivered Universal Parent Training Intervention

The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a self-directed, digitally delivered universal parenting program among families with 3-year-old children. The effectiveness of the program will be assessed using a randomized, controlled, single-blinded clinical trial with a pragmatic, two-arm group with waiting list design.

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Mental Health Literacy Intervention for University Students

First year at the university is a challenging phase at a young adult’s life. According to many studies, especially medical students have a high risk of stress-related problems, mental health problems, depression and anxiety due to demands of the studies and their future profession, posing a threat to their wellbeing.

Transitions is an intervention study to evaluate how digitally delivered mental health literacy intervention changes mental health knowledge, attitudes and help-seeking behavior among first year medical students.

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