Request for Information (RFI): Resource Exchange to Facilitate Research on Cognitive Training Interventions for Mental Disorders

Notice Number: NOT-MH-13-006

Key Dates
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Response Date:  January 18, 2013

Issued by
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Purpose

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is seeking input on the potential creation of a web-based resource exchange site to facilitate research for developing and evaluating cognitive training (CT) interventions for mental disorders.  NIMH is soliciting detailed and specific feedback from interested parties about the potential utility of such a resource exchange site, including desirable elements of functionality of such a site, potential challenges to the development of a web-based resource exchange, and barriers to the widespread use of such a site. 

Background

On April 9-10, 2012, NIMH convened a group of experts in cognitive training (CT) (also often referred to as cognitive remediation, CR) to review the current state of evidence for efficacy of CT approaches, discuss interventions currently in development, identify challenges to this line of research and research gaps, and learn of efforts to adopt CT interventions in clinical practice.  The overarching theme of the presentations and discussions was the potential for CT approaches to add to the catalog of evidence-based treatments for people with mental disorders.  Much of the early work in this area involved the development of CT approaches to address the cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia, but there has been increasing interest in applying these approaches to other populations and targets.  Given the rapid proliferation of new and adapted CT approaches and the need for rigorous testing, investigators at the meeting expressed enthusiasm for opportunities to share experiences and resources.  It was suggested that a centralized, web-based site for disseminating study procedures, sharing assessment tools, treatment protocols, and “lessons learned” would facilitate standardization of interventions and assessments, and prevent redundancy.    

NIMH is soliciting input about the potential utility of a centralized, web-based resource exchange site that would allow the research community a place to access and share information from ongoing and completed studies on cognitive training interventions.  Some elements of such a site could include, but would not be limited to: a registry of studies, searchable on key study elements (e.g., age, diagnosis, domains of functioning, circuits targeted); assessment tools, forms, procedures, and associated data dictionaries; intervention protocols, including non-proprietary software and analytic procedures; and publications and meeting abstracts resulting from studies, including negative results. 

Information Requested

In response to the suggestion of a need for a resource exchange site, the NIMH is soliciting detailed and specific feedback from interested parties to gauge the level of interest in such a site and suggestions about the desired elements and functionality of such a site, as well as challenges that might be encountered or elements that might deter its utilization.  NIMH is interested in having input from the field on the following topics and issues, and welcomes feedback that is not limited to these topics:

1.  The functions and key elements of a centralized, web-based resource exchange site that would be beneficial to investigators who are developing and evaluating the efficacy/effectiveness of cognitive training interventions.
2.  The kind of information that intervention developers would consider sharing for access by other researchers (e.g., assessment tools, intervention protocols, results).
3.  The potential barriers to using such a resource exchange site.
4.  The advantages and disadvantages associated with a resource exchange hosted through a NIH web site versus one hosted by a non-government web site, as well as the potential interest of professional organizations in hosting such a web site.
5.  The importance of a web-based capability to accept and post comments from the community about the information on the web site, the need for the web site to be monitored, and the need for comments to be monitored and approved prior to posting.

Responses

Responses to this RFI are voluntary.  Results may be shared internally with scientific working groups convened by NIH, as appropriate.  Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response.  The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in summaries of the state of the science and any resultant solicitation(s).  The NIH may use the information gathered to develop grant, contract, or other funding priorities and initiatives. 

This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), or individual NIH Institutes and Centers.  The NIH does not intend to make any awards based on responses to this RFI or pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information.

Responses will be accepted through January 18, 2013.  Electronic responses are preferred and may be addressed to CTResourceExchange@mail.nih.gov.  Please include the Notice number NOT-MH-13-006 in the subject line.  You will see an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response, but will not receive individualized feedback on any suggestions. 

Responses may also be sent by letter or FAX to the following address:

RFI on CT Resource Exchange
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7173, MSC 9617
Bethesda, MD  20892-9635
FAX:  301-480-4415

No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government's use of such information.

Inquiries

Inquiries regarding this RFI may be directed to:

RFI on CT Resource Exchange
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7173, MSC 9617
Bethesda, MD  20892-9635
FAX:  301-480-4415
Email:  CTResourceExchange@mail.nih.gov


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