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


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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    • "Mental health practitioners who work with orphans in other African countries, and in communities beyond the African continent where orphanhood directly translates into heightened emotional vulnerabilities, could also adopt intervention programmes aimed at nurturing positive personal attributes in order to improve the well-being of orphaned children. For example, the FRIENDS intervention programme (Action for Children, 2007; Barrett, Farrell, Ollendick, & Dadds, 2006; Stallard et al., 2005), which is based on principles of the cognitive behaviour therapy, is centred on promoting self-esteem, problem-solving, psychological resilience and self-expression and building positive relationships with peers and adults. "
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    ABSTRACT: Much of the literature suggests that the availability of certain protective factors can help to buffer the adverse effects of negative life events such as parental loss and the negative experiences surrounding placement in orphanages. Following on from this perspective, the present study explores the influence of perceived social support, self-efficacy and resilience on the stress experience (as measured by the symptoms of depression and anxiety) of 200 children in Accra, Ghana. The sample comprised 100 orphans placed in orphanages and 100 non-orphans - all aged between seven and 17 years. The children completed the Children's Depression Inventory, the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the General Self-efficacy Scale and the 14-item Resilience Scale. The results revealed that orphans had significantly stronger perceptions of social support from friends than non-orphans, whereas non-orphans had significantly stronger perceptions of support from families than orphans. However, both the orphans and non-orphans reported high levels of self-efficacy and resilience. Regression analyses also revealed that self-efficacy emerged as a significant positive predictor of resilience for the orphaned children, whereas self-efficacy and perceived social support emerged as significant positive predictors of resilience for the non-orphans. Implications of the findings are discussed.
    Child Care in Practice 02/2015; 21(2):1-20. DOI:10.1080/13575279.2014.985286
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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.
    Internet Interventions 04/2014; 1(2). DOI:10.1016/j.invent.2014.05.004
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    • "Costs for interventions will include: initial development of the leadership team; initial training of the coaches (Tier 1) and clinical supervisors (Tier 2); initial training of the leadership team and school counselors; subsequent supervision of coaches and clinical supervisors; conducting groups with at risk children; and activities to maintain the SWPBIS program, including day-to-day implementation, ongoing training, data collection, and money for student incentives. Within each component, two main types of costs will be calculated: cost of physical materials used for training and interventions and costs associated with time spent by trainers and school personnel [117]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Urban schools lag behind non-urban schools in attending to the behavioral health needs of their students. This is especially evident with regard to the level of use of evidence-based interventions with school children. Increased used of evidence-based interventions in urban schools would contribute to reducing mental health services disparities in low-income communities. School-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS) is a service delivery framework that can be used to deliver universal preventive interventions and evidence-based behavioral health treatments, such as group cognitive behavioral therapy. In this article, we describe our ongoing research on creating internal capacity for program implementation. We also examine the cost-effectiveness and resulting school climate when two different levels of external support are provided to personnel as they implement a two-tier SWPBIS program.Methods/design: The study follows six K - 8 schools in the School District of Philadelphia randomly assigned to consultation support or consultation-plus-coaching support. Participants are: approximately 48 leadership team members, 180 school staff and 3,900 students in Tier 1, and 12 counselors, and 306 child participants in Tier 2. Children who meet inclusion criteria for Tier 2 will participate in group cognitive behavioral therapy for externalizing or anxiety disorders. The study has three phases, baseline/training, implementation, and sustainability. We will measure implementation outcomes, service outcomes, child outcomes, and cost. Findings from this study will provide evidence as to the appropriateness of school-wide prevention and treatment service delivery models for addressing services disparities in schools. The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness analyses of the two levels of training and consultation should help urban school districts and policymakers with the planning and deployment of cost-effective strategies for the implementation of evidence-based interventions for some of the most common behavioral health problems in school children.Trial registration: identifier: NCT01941069.
    Implementation Science 01/2014; 9(1):12. DOI:10.1186/1748-5908-9-12 · 4.12 Impact Factor
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