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Comparison of Three Therapy-Based Interventions for Preventing Depression in Adolescents

This study has been completed.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jami Young, Rutgers University Identifier:
First received: November 23, 2005
Last updated: April 11, 2013
Last verified: April 2013
This study will compare Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST), IPT-AST plus parent involvement (Enhanced IPT-AST), and Usual Care for the prevention of adolescent depression.

Condition Intervention
Behavioral: IPT-AST
Other: Enhanced IPT-AST
Other: School counseling

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Prevention of Depression in Adolescents

Further study details as provided by Rutgers University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Score on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale [ Time Frame: Measured immediately post-treatment and at Months 6, 12, and 18 follow-ups ]
  • Rating on Children's Global Assessment Scale [ Time Frame: Measured immediately post-treatment and at Months 6, 12, and 18 follow-ups ]
  • Depression diagnoses on the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (K-SADS) diagnostic instrument [ Time Frame: Measured immediately post-treatment and at Months 6, 12, and 18 follow-ups ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Score on the Conflict Behavior Questionnaire [ Time Frame: Measured immediately post-treatment and at Months 6, 12, and 18 follow-ups ]
  • Score on the Social Adjustment Scale [ Time Frame: Measured immediately post-treatment and at Months 6, 12, and 18 follow-ups ]
  • Score on the Perceived Social Support scale [ Time Frame: Measured immediately post-treatment and at Months 6, 12, and 18 follow-ups ]

Enrollment: 57
Study Start Date: November 2005
Study Completion Date: June 2009
Primary Completion Date: January 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
Interpersonal Psychotherapy-Adolescent Skills Training (IPT-AST)
Behavioral: IPT-AST
IPT-AST is a school based group treatment program that focuses on prevention, psychoeducation, and interpersonal skill building.
Experimental: 2
Enhanced IPT-AST
Other: Enhanced IPT-AST
Enhanced IPT-AST entails IPT-AST plus three parent-adolescent sessions.
Active Comparator: 3
Typical school counseling
Other: School counseling
Usual care consists of standard treatments, including individual counseling with guidance counselor.

Detailed Description:

Depression is a serious medical illness that is difficult to diagnose and treat, especially in children and adolescents. Signs of depression in children may include the following behaviors: pretending to be sick; refusing to go to school; clinging to a parent; or worrying that a parent may die. Older children may sulk, behave inappropriately at school, act in a negative or grouchy manner, or feel misunderstood. Because normal behaviors vary from one childhood stage to another, it can be difficult to determine whether a child is going through a temporary "phase" or is suffering from depression. This study will compare IPT-AST, Enhanced IPT-AST, and Usual Care for the prevention of adolescent depression.

Participation in this single-blind study will last approximately 21 months. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either IPT-AST, Enhanced IPT-AST, or Usual Care for 12 weeks. IPT-AST is a school-based group intervention program that focuses on prevention, psychoeducation, and interpersonal skill-building. Enhanced IPT-AST will entail IPT-AST plus three parent-adolescent sessions. Usual Care will consist of standard treatments and will not include IPT-AST. Study visits will occur before and during the intervention at baseline and Weeks 6 and 12. Follow-up visits will occur 6, 12, and 18 months post-intervention. Study visit assessments will include depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, psychiatric diagnoses, overall functioning, social adjustment, parent-child conflict, perceived support from parents and peers, and service utilization.


Ages Eligible for Study:   11 Years to 17 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Between grades 7 and 10 in school
  • Score of at least 16 on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Short Depression Scale (CES-D)
  • Currently experiencing at least 2 symptoms on the K-SADS depression section, one of which is either depressed mood, irritability, or an inability to feel pleasure during normal activities
  • Score of at least 61 on the Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS), indicating mild to moderate impairment
  • English-speaking

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Score of 15 or less on the CES-D scale
  • Currently experiencing fewer than 2 depression symptoms on the K-SADS or 2 or more symptoms on the K-SADS with no report of depressed mood, irritability, or anhedonia
  • Attempted suicide or self-mutilation in the year prior to study entry
  • Current active suicidal ideation and/or history of a clinically significant suicidal behavior (i.e., with intent to die and high medical lethality) or repeated patterns of self-injurious behavior
  • Current major depressive disorder or dysthymia as determined by K-SADS
  • Current DSM-IV diagnosis of psychosis, substance abuse or dependence, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, or conduct disorder as determined by K-SADS
  • Score of 60 or less on the CGAS, indicating substantial functional impairment
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00258752

United States, New Jersey
Rutgers University
Piscataway, New Jersey, United States, 08554
United States, New York
New York State Psychiatric Institute
New York, New York, United States, 10032
Sponsors and Collaborators
Rutgers University
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Jami F. Young, PhD Rutgers University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Jami Young, Assistant Professor, Rutgers University Identifier: NCT00258752     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: K23MH071320 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: November 23, 2005
Last Updated: April 11, 2013

Keywords provided by Rutgers University:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on April 26, 2017