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Randomized Clinical Trial of a Primary Care Internet-based Intervention to Prevent Adolescent Depression: One-year Outcomes.

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Section of General Pediatrics, Adolescent Medicine and Education, Children's Hospital of the University of Illinois, College of Medicine, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


in English, French


We developed a primary care/Internet-based intervention for adolescents at risk for depression (CATCH-IT, Competent Adulthood Transition with Cognitive-behavioral, Humanistic and Interpersonal Training). This phase II clinical trial compares two forms of primary care provider (PCP) engagement (motivational interview [MI] and brief advice [BA]) for adolescents using the Internet program.


ADOLESCENTS SCREENING POSITIVE FOR DEPRESSION WERE RECRUITED FROM PRIMARY CARE PRACTICES AND RANDOMLY ASSIGNED TO A VERSION OF THE INTERVENTION: PCP MI + Internet program or PCP BA + Internet program. Between-group and within-group comparisons were conducted on depressive disorder outcome measures at baseline and one-year post-enrollment. Regression analyses examined factors predicting declines in depressed mood.


Both groups demonstrated significant within-group decreases in depressed mood, loneliness, and self-harm ideation. While no between-group differences were noted in depressed mood or depressive disorder measures at one-year, fewer participants in the MI group had experienced a depressive episode. Greater participant automatic negative thoughts and more favorable ratings of a component of the Internet-based training experience predicted declines in depressed mood at one-year.


A primary care/Internet-based intervention for depression prevention demonstrated sustained reductions in depressed mood, and, when coupled with motivational interviewing, reduction in the likelihood of being diagnosed with a depressive episode. This tool may help extend the services at the disposal of a primary care provider and can provide a bridge for adolescents at risk for depression prior to referral to mental health specialists.


Internet; adolescent depression; prevention and intervention; primary care


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