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, Aug 23, 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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    • "Sheffield et al.'s and Barrett and Turner's evaluations included both groups (Barrett and Turner, 2001; Sheffield et al., 2006). Resembling what was stated for depression , a large variation in the number of conducted sessions of the respective programs [from eight sessions (Rooney et al., 2006; Sheffield et al., 2006) up to one weekly meeting over a whole academic year (Garaigordobil, 2004)], the age of the participants [from 7 (Berger et al., 2007) to 19-year-old students (Barrett et al., 2001, 2003)] and the applied follow-up time [from pre–post evaluations (Barrett and Turner, 2001; Barrett et al., 2001; Garaigordobil, 2004; Berger et al., 2007) up to 36 months (Barrett et al., 2006)] can be found in the studies evaluating anxiety as an outcome. Overall, 11 studies report effectiveness for their interventions (73%), meaning lower scores for anxiety in the IG compared with the CG after post-intervention or follow-up, 4 do not (27%). "
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    ABSTRACT: School-based interventions are considered a promising effort to prevent the occurrence of mental disorders in adolescents. This systematic review focuses on school-based prevention interventions on depression and anxiety disorders utilizing an RCT design, starting from the year 2000. Based on an online search (PubMed, Scirus, OVID, ISI) and bibliographic findings in the eligible articles, 28 studies providing information were reviewed. The search process ended on 2 May 2011. The majority of interventions turn out to be effective, both for depression (65%) and anxiety (73%). However, the obtained overall mean effect sizes calculated from the most utilized questionnaires can be considered rather small (CDI: −0.12; RCMAS: −0.29). The majority of the reviewed school-based interventions shows effectiveness in reducing or preventing mental disorders in adolescents. However, effect size computation revealed only small-scale effectiveness. Future studies have to consider the impact of program implementation variations.
    Health Promotion International 02/2013; 29(3). DOI:10.1093/heapro/dat001 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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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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