Future Directions in Research on Psychotherapy for Adolescent Depression.
ABSTRACT Research over the past 3 decades has shown that psychotherapy can successfully address adolescent depression. Cognitive behavioral models have been most extensively and rigorously tested, with evidence also supporting interpersonal psychotherapy and attachment-based family therapy. However, the vast majority of studies have focused on short-term treatment of depressive episodes, even as evidence accumulates that depression is frequently a recurring condition extending into adulthood. Moreover, treatment studies indicate that better longer term outcomes are attained by adolescents who respond earlier and more completely to intervention. Given what has been learned to date about adolescent depression treatment, future psychotherapy research should adopt a longer term perspective and focus on the following key challenges: (a) preventing relapse and recurrent episodes, while improving speed and thoroughness of initial treatment response; (b) identifying the necessary treatment components and learning processes that lead to successful and enduring recovery from depression; (c) determining whether-and, if so, how-to address comorbid disorders within depression treatment; (d) addressing the dilemma of simplicity versus complexity in treatment models. Given the relatively small number of evidence-based treatment models, newer approaches warrant investigation. These should be tested against existing models and also compared to medication and combined (psychotherapy plus medication) treatment. Advances in technology now enable investigators to improve dissemination, to conduct experimental psychotherapeutics and to expand application of Internet-based interventions to the goals of relapse and recurrence prevention.
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ABSTRACT: Guided by the Behavioral Vaccine Theory of prevention, this study uses a no-control group design to examine intervention variables that predict favorable changes in depressive symptoms at 6- to 8-week follow-up in at-risk adolescents who participated in a primary care, Internet-based prevention program. Participants included 83 adolescents from primary care settings ages 14 to 21 (M = 17.5, SD = 2.04), 56.2% female, with 41% non-White. Participants completed self-report measures, met with a physician, and then completed a 14-module Internet intervention targeting the prevention of depression. Linear regression models indicated that several intervention factors (duration on website in days, the strength of the relationship with the physician, perceptions of ease of use, and the perceived relevance of the material presented) were significantly associated with greater reductions in depressive symptoms from baseline to follow-up. Automatic negative thoughts significantly mediated the relation between change in depressive symptoms scores and both duration of use and physician relationship. Several intervention variables predicted favorable changes in depressive symptom scores among adolescents who participated in an Internet-based prevention program, and the strength of two of these variables was mediated by automatic negative thoughts. These findings support the importance of cognitive factors in preventing adolescent depression and suggest that modifiable aspects of technology-based intervention experience and relationships should be considered in optimizing intervention design.Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 11/2013; 43(1). · 1.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Adolescent offspring of depressed parents are at high risk for experiencing depressive disorders themselves. OBJECTIVE To determine whether the positive effects of a group cognitive-behavioral prevention (CBP) program extended to longer-term (multiyear) follow-up. DESIGN A 4-site randomized clinical trial with 33 months of follow-up was conducted. Recruitment of participants was from August 2003 through February 2006. SETTING The study settings included a health maintenance organization, university medical centers, and a community mental health center. PARTICIPANTS Three hundred sixteen adolescent (aged 13-17 years) offspring of parents with current and/or prior depressive disorders; adolescents had histories of depression, current elevated depressive symptoms, or both but did not currently meet criteria for a depressive disorder. INTERVENTIONS The CBP program consisted of 8 weekly 90-minute group sessions followed by 6 monthly continuation sessions. Adolescents were randomly assigned to either the CBP program or usual care (UC). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcome was a probable or definite episode of depression (Depression Symptom Rating score ≥4) for at least 2 weeks through the month 33 follow-up evaluation. RESULTS Over the 33-month follow-up period, youths in the CBP condition had significantly fewer onsets of depressive episodes compared with those in UC. Parental depression at baseline significantly moderated the intervention effect. When parents were not depressed at intake, CBP was superior to UC (number needed to treat, 6), whereas when parents were actively depressed at baseline, average onset rates between CBP and UC were not significantly different. A 3-way interaction among intervention, baseline parental depression, and site indicated that the impact of parental depression on intervention effectiveness varied across sites. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE The CBP program showed significant sustained effects compared with UC in preventing the onset of depressive episodes in at-risk youth over a nearly 3-year period. Important next steps will be to strengthen the CBP intervention to further enhance its preventive effects, improve intervention outcomes when parents are currently depressed, and conduct larger implementation trials to test the broader public health impact of the CBP program for preventing depression in youth. TRIAL REGISTRATION clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00073671.JAMA Psychiatry 09/2013; · 12.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective: This article reports outcomes from the Child STEPs randomized effectiveness trial conducted over a 2-year period to gauge the longer term impact of protocol design on the effectiveness of evidence-based treatment procedures. Method: An ethnoracially diverse sample of 174 youths ages 7- 13 (N = 121 boys) whose primary clinical concerns involved diagnoses or clinical elevations related to anxiety, depression, or disruptive behavior were treated by community therapists randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions: (a) standard, which involved the use of 1 or more of 3 manualized evidence-based treatments, (b) modular, which involved a single modular protocol (Modular Approach to Treatment of Children With Anxiety, Depression, or Conduct Problems; MATCH) having clinical procedures similar to the standard condition but flexibly selected and sequenced using a guiding clinical algorithm, and (c) usual care. Results: As measured with combined Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self-Report Total Problems, Internalizing, and Externalizing scales, the rate of improvement for youths in the modular condition was significantly better than for those in usual care. On a measure of functional impairment (Brief Impairment Scale), no significant differences were found among the 3 conditions. Analysis of service utilization also showed no significant differences among conditions, with almost half of youths receiving some additional services in the 1st year after beginning treatment, and roughly one third of youths in the 2nd year. Conclusions: Overall, these results extend prior findings, supporting incremental benefits of MATCH over usual care over a 2-year period. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 08/2013; · 4.85 Impact Factor