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Chat- and internet-based cognitive–behavioural therapy in treatment of adolescent depression: randomised controlled trial

  • Naira Topooco (a1), Matilda Berg (a1), Sofie Johansson (a1), Lina Liljethörn (a1), Ella Radvogin (a1), George Vlaescu (a1), Lise Bergman Nordgren (a2), Maria Zetterqvist (a3) and Gerhard Andersson (a2)...
Abstract
Background

Depression is a major contributor to the burden of disease in the adolescent population. Internet-based interventions can increase access to treatment.

Aims

To evaluate the efficacy of internet-based cognitive–behavioural therapy (iCBT), including therapist chat communication, in treatment of adolescent depression.

Method

Seventy adolescents, 15–19 years of age and presenting with depressive symptoms, were randomised to iCBT or attention control. The primary outcome was the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II).

Results

Significant reductions in depressive symptoms were found, favouring iCBT over the control condition (F(1,67) = 6.18, P < 0.05). The between-group effect size was Cohen's d = 0.71 (95% CI 0.22–1.19). A significantly higher proportion of iCBT participants (42.4%) than controls (13.5%) showed a 50% decrease in BDI-II score post-treatment (P < 0.01). The improvement for the iCBT group was maintained at 6 months.

Conclusions

The intervention appears to effectively reduce symptoms of depression in adolescents and may be helpful in overcoming barriers to care among young people.

Declaration of interest

N.T. and G.A. designed the programme. N.T. authored the treatment material. The web platform used for treatment is owned by Linköping University and run on a non-for-profit basis. None of the authors receives any income from the programme.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence: Naira Topooco, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden. Email: naira.topooco@liu.se
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Chat- and internet-based cognitive–behavioural therapy in treatment of adolescent depression: randomised controlled trial

  • Naira Topooco (a1), Matilda Berg (a1), Sofie Johansson (a1), Lina Liljethörn (a1), Ella Radvogin (a1), George Vlaescu (a1), Lise Bergman Nordgren (a2), Maria Zetterqvist (a3) and Gerhard Andersson (a2)...
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