Evaluating Effect Moderators in Cognitive Versus Behavioral Based CBT-Modules and Sequences Towards Preventing Adolescent Depression

Marieke W H van den Heuvel*, Denise H M Bodden, Filip Smit, Yvonne A J Stikkelbroek, Rutger C M E Engels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate age group, gender, and baseline depressive symptom severity as possible effect moderators in (1) cognitive versus behavioral based CBT-modules and (2) sequences of modules that started either with cognitive or behavioral modules in indicated depression prevention in adolescents.

METHOD: We conducted a pragmatic cluster-randomized trial under four parallel conditions. Each condition consisted of four CBT-modules of three sessions (cognitive restructuring, problem solving, behavioral activation, relaxation), but the sequencing of modules differed. The CBT-modules and sequences were clustered into more cognitive versus more behavioral based approaches. The sample involved 282 Dutch adolescents with elevated depressive symptoms (Mage = 13.8; 55.7% girls, 92.9% Dutch). Assessments were conducted at baseline, after three sessions, at post-intervention and 6-month follow-up with self-reported depressive symptoms as the primary outcome.

RESULTS: We found no evidence for substantial moderation effects. Age group, gender, and depressive symptom severity level at baseline did not moderate the effects of cognitive versus behavioral modules after three sessions. No evidence was also found that these characteristics moderated the effectiveness of sequences of modules that started either with cognitive or behavioral modules at post-intervention and 6-month follow-up.

CONCLUSION: Cognitive and behavioral based modules and sequences in the prevention of depression in adolescents might apply to a relatively wide range of adolescents in terms of age group, gender, and severity levels of depressive symptoms. Abbreviation: CDI-2:F: Children's Depression Inventory-2 Full-length version; CDI-2:S: Children's Depression Inventory-2 Short version; STARr: Solve, Think, Act, Relax, and repeat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 May 2023

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