Long-Term Outcomes of an Australian Universal Prevention Trial of Anxiety and Depression Symptoms in Children and Youth: An Evaluation of the Friends Program

University of Queensland, Pathways Health and Research Centre, Brisbane, Australia.
Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.92). 10/2006; 35(3):403-11. DOI: 10.1207/s15374424jccp3503_5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study evaluated the long-term effectiveness of the FRIENDS Program in reducing anxiety and depression in a sample of children from Grade 6 and Grade 9 in comparison to a control condition. Longitudinal data for Lock and Barrett's (2003) universal prevention trial is presented, along with data from 12-month follow-up to 24- and 36-month follow-up. Results of this study indicate that intervention reductions in anxiety reported in Lock and Barrett were maintained for students in Grade 6, with the intervention group reporting significantly lower ratings of anxiety at long-term follow-up. A significant Time x Intervention Group x Gender Effect on Anxiety was found, with girls in the intervention group reporting significantly lower anxiety at 12-month and 24-month follow-up but not at 36-month follow-up in comparison to the control condition. Results demonstrated a prevention effect with significantly fewer high-risk students at 36-month follow-up in the intervention condition than in the control condition. Results are discussed within the context of prevention research.

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Available from: Mark R Dadds, Jul 26, 2015
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    • "i n v e n t -j o u r n a l . c o m / prevention in both anxiety and depression and only MoodGYM delivered their course online (Barrett et al., 2006; Calear and Christensen, 2010). Small effect sizes are typical in the field. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the current study was to 1) establish the efficacy of two internet-based prevention programs to reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in adolescents; and 2) investigate the distribution of psychological symptoms in a large sample of Australian adolescents prior to the implementation of the intervention. A cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted with 976 Year 9-10 students from twelve Australian secondary schools in 2009. Four schools were randomly allocated to the Anxiety internet-based prevention program (n = 372), five schools to the Depression internet-based prevention program (n = 380) and three to their usual health classes (n = 224). The Thiswayup Schools for Anxiety and Depression prevention courses were presented over the internet and consist of 6-7 evidence-based, curriculum consistent lessons to improve the ability to manage anxiety and depressive symptoms. Participants were assessed at baseline and post intervention. Data analysis was constrained by both study attrition and data corruption. Thus post-intervention data were only available for 265/976 students. Compared to the control group, students in the depression intervention group showed a significant improvement in anxiety and depressive symptoms at the end of the course, whilst students in the anxiety intervention demonstrated a reduction in symptoms of anxiety. No significant differences were found in psychological distress. The Thiswayup Schools Depression and Anxiety interventions appear to reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in adolescents using a curriculum based, blended online and offline cognitive behavioural therapy program that was implemented by classroom teachers. Given the study limitations, particularly the loss of post intervention data, these findings can only be considered preliminary and need to be replicated in future research.
    04/2014; 1(2). DOI:10.1016/j.invent.2014.05.004
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    • "Three months after completing the FRIENDS programme, rates of anxiety had decreased and self esteem increased, both significantly. Barrett, Farrell, Ollendick, and Dadds (2006) found that children who had undergone a FRIENDS programme demonstrated significantly greater reductions in anxiety three years later, for both a 9–10 and a 14–16 year old cohort, compared to control groups. Interestingly, they also found stronger prevention impacts at four-month follow-up than immediately after the intervention. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study used an “indicated prevention” approach to attempt to replicate very positive international evaluations of the FRIENDS for Life programme. Using standardised self‐report measures of anxiety, low mood and self esteem with groups of children from four schools, the study found significant improvements in all of these measures following the 10‐week programme, which were sustained four months later. Positive findings were also obtained from an examination of the programme’s impact on children’s social skills. Implications for improving emotional well‐being and educational outcomes for children in Scottish schools are discussed.
    Educational Psychology in Practice 03/2010; 26(1):53-67. DOI:10.1080/02667360903522785
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    • "The FRIENDS program was adapted from protocols designed to treat anxiety disorders in youth (for details see Barrett & Turner, 2001). Across a series of universal trials, Barrett and colleagues (e.g., Barrett & Turner, 2001;Lowry-Webster, Barrett, & Lock, 2003;Barrett et al., 2006) have examined the effects of the FRIENDS interventions on symptoms of both anxiety and depression. This universal intervention focuses on coping strategies for dealing with anxiety and distress, and includes tools such as cognitive restructuring, relaxation, and exposures with the help of parents (e.g., Barrett & Turner, 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Since 1990, significant efforts have been made towards developing interventions to prevent depression in youth. Meta-analyses of preventive interventions have consistently yielded small but significant effect sizes in the short-term prevention of depression. However, the maintenance of intervention effects over extended follow-ups ranging from 6 months to 3 years has not been consistently demonstrated. In this qualitative review, significant methodological issues that continue to be of concern are discussed. Illustrative studies are described to highlight the accomplishments and limitations of interventions to date. Particular areas in need of attention include the implementation of booster sessions, use of appropriate statistical analyses, examination of multiple outcome variables, augmentation of protective factors, and exploration of mediators and moderators of intervention effects. Future directions for the field of depression prevention are outlined.
    Clinical Psychology Review 07/2007; 27(5):552-71. DOI:10.1016/j.cpr.2007.01.014 · 7.18 Impact Factor
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