Mental health problems are prevalent in youth with rheumatologic disease. Gaps in knowledge exist regarding their effect, as well as strategies for detection and effective treatment. To address these gaps, the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) Mental Health Workgroup developed and prioritized an agenda of research topics. Methods We systematically reviewed the literature and identified 5 major research domains in further need of study: (A) mental health burden and relationship to pediatric rheumatologic disease, (B) effect of mental health disorders on outcomes, (C) mental health awareness and education, (D) mental health screening, and (E) mental health treatment. Research topics within these areas were developed by workgroup leaders and refined by the workgroup. Members were surveyed to prioritize the topics by importance, feasibility of study, and actionability.

Results Fifty-nine members (57%) completed the survey. Among the proposed research topics, 31/33 were rated as highly important and 4/33 were rated highly for importance, feasibility, and actionability. Topics rated most important related to (A) mental health burden and relationship to rheumatologic disease, and (B) the effect of mental health on outcomes. Topics rated most feasible and actionable were related to (D) mental health screening.

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