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J Affect Disord. 2013 May;147(1-3):338-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2012.11.036. Epub 2012 Dec 11.

Adherence to the MoodGYM program: outcomes and predictors for an adolescent school-based population.

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Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University, Acton ACT 0200, Australia.



Program adherence has been associated with improved intervention outcomes for mental and physical conditions. The aim of the current study is to investigate adolescent adherence to an Internet-based depression prevention program in schools to identify the effect of adherence on outcomes and to ascertain the predictors of program adherence.


Data for the current study (N=1477) was drawn from the YouthMood Project, which was conducted to test the effectiveness of the MoodGYM program in reducing and preventing symptoms of anxiety and depression in an adolescent school-based population. The current study compares intervention effects across three sub-groups: high adherers, low adherers and the wait-list control condition.


When compared to the control condition, participants in the high adherence intervention group reported stronger intervention effects at post-intervention and 6-month follow-up than participants in the low adherence group for anxiety (d=0.34-0.39 vs. 0.11-0.22), and male (d=0.43-0.59 vs. 0.26-0.35) and female depression (d=0.13-0.20 vs. 0.02-0.04). No significant intervention effects were identified between the high and low adherence groups. Being in Year 9, living in a rural location and having higher pre-intervention levels of depressive symptoms or self-esteem were predictive of greater adherence to the MoodGYM program.


The program trialled is Internet-based and therefore the predictors of adherence identified may not generalise to face-to-face interventions.


The current study provides preliminary support for the positive relationship between program adherence and outcomes in a school environment. The identification of significant predictors of adherence will assist in identifying the type of user who will engage most with an online depression prevention program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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