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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for child and adolescent depression

Review published: 2008.

Bibliographic details: David-Ferdon C, Kaslow N J.  Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for child and adolescent depression. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology 2008; 37(1): 62-104. [PubMed: 18444054]

Quality assessment

This review concluded that no single psychosocial intervention was most beneficial to treat children and adolescents with depression. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for children and CBT and interpersonal therapy for adolescents were the most promising. Some methodological limitations of the review made the reliability of the conclusions uncertain. Full critical summary


The evidence-base of psychosocial treatment outcome studies for depressed youth conducted since 1998 is examined. All studies for depressed children meet Nathan and Gorman's (2002) criteria for Type 2 studies whereas the adolescent protocols meet criteria for both Type 1 and Type 2 studies. Based on the Task Force on the Promotion and Dissemination of Psychological Procedures guidelines, the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) based specific programs of Penn Prevention Program, Self-Control Therapy, and Coping with Depression-Adolescent are probably efficacious. Interpersonal Therapy-Adolescent, which falls under the theoretical category of interpersonal therapy (IPT), also is a probably efficacious treatment. CBT provided through the modalities of child group only and child group plus parent components are well-established intervention approaches for depressed children. For adolescents, two modalities are well-established (CBT adolescent only group, IPT individual), and three are probably efficacious (CBT adolescent group plus parent component, CBT individual, CBT individual plus parent/family component). From the broad theoretical level, CBT has well-established efficacy and behavior therapy meets criteria for a probably efficacious intervention for childhood depression. For adolescent depression, both CBT and IPT have well-established efficacy. Future research directions and best practices are offered.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2012 University of York.

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