Category: Technology


Meta-Analysis on CBT and Behavioral Intervention Technologies for Depression in Youth

Friday, November 17
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom O & P, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Technology / Mobile Health | Adolescent Depression | Child Depression
Presentation Type: Symposium

This study aimed to review and compare the effects of Face-to-Face Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (F2FCBT) and Behavioral Intervention Technologies (BITs) for youth depression. Depression in youth is linked to poor social functioning, academic underachievement, risk of substance abuse, and suicide; however, only 25% of individuals with depression receive treatment. The current cost for psychotherapy, poor access to services, mental health stigma, and lack of symptom awareness may represent barriers to treatment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as psychopharmacological agents are commonly used interventions for the treatment of childhood depression. However, not all youth respond to these treatments. Behavioral Intervention technologies (BITs) could provide an alternative treatment that is more engaging to a technology- savvy generation while also addressing the access barriers. This presentation will review assessment of methodological quality, measurement, and treatment in online and face-to-face environments for youth depression.

Methods: Systematic review methods and meta-analysis techniques were used to analyze nineteen randomized controlled trials comparing F2FCBT, or BITS, vs. a Wait List Control or a Non-Evidence-Based control. A random effect model was used, and effect sizes were calculated using Hedges’ g to determine the treatment effectiveness from pre- to post-test measures. Subgroup comparisons were run for age and type of control group.

Results: Results of the analysis show that both interventions were effective for reducing childhood depression, (F2FCBT g = -.36 and BITs g = -.34), and were not significantly different from one another (X^2 (1) = 0.02, p = .90). A subgroup analysis revealed that interventions targeted at adolescents (12-17 year-old) were more effective (g = -0.51) than interventions targeting mixed ages (0-17 yo; g = -.14).

Conclusion: When examining adolescent depression, both F2F and BIT interventions show significant improvements. There is initial evidence that developmentally targeted interventions may be more effective than broadly targeted interventions.

Megan Jones

Palo Alto University


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Meta-Analysis on CBT and Behavioral Intervention Technologies for Depression in Youth

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