Category: Child / Adolescent - Depression

Symposium

Preventing Youth Depression Through an Internet-Based Primary Care Intervention: Preliminary Findings

Friday, November 17
3:45 PM - 5:15 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom B, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Depression | Primary Care | Internet
Presentation Type: Symposium

We developed a primary care intervention, CATCH-IT, to evaluate a self-guided, online approach to depression prevention.  CATCH-IT uses the media theory of “Synchronization of the Senses” to incorporate character stories and design/picture elements to meet current social media standards, and combines therapeutic modalities (e.g., cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal interventions) in an ecological model.


Method:  Participants were adolescents 13-18 with histories of depression, current subsyndromal depressive symptoms or both, recruited from N=8 health systems in Chicago and Boston.  We randomized N=369 adolescents into CATCH-IT or a Health Education (HE) control that was based on the current well-child curriculum. Adolescents were diverse in race and ethnicity: N=77 identified as Hispanic and N=94 identified as non-Hispanic African American. Assessments were conducted at baseline and 2, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months.  Adolescents completed the Centers for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CESD) at each time point.  Data from baseline through the 6-month follow-up are now available.


Results: In the sample as a whole, mean CESD scores decreased over time, from 16.9 (SD=8.7) at baseline to 15.5 (SD=9.3) at 2 months and 13.9 (SD=9.1) at 6 months.   Baseline CESD scores were higher for teens in Chicago than Boston (p<.05), but similar trends were observed for each site separately:  Chicago (17.7 at baseline, 15.6 at 2 months, 15.0 at 6 months); Boston (15.4 at baseline, 15.4 at 2 months, 12.9 at 6 months). Teens with 6-month data available had lower baseline CESD scores than those with no 6-month data available (15.5 versus 18.3, p=.002). We expect to present changes in CESD scores over time by group (CATCH-IT versus HE).


Discussion: Results suggest at-risk teens who engage in technology-based interventions through primary care may experience decreased depressive symptoms over time, although we do not yet have evidence that decreases are associated with a particular intervention program (CATCH-IT vs. HE).  Possibly, at-risk teens are more willing to engage in such interventions at times of relative wellness (i.e., when experiencing fewer current symptoms). 

Tracy Gladstone

Professor
Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College

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