Randomized control trial testing the effectiveness of implemented depression prevention in high-risk adolescents

Karlijn W.J. De Jonge-Heesen*, Sanne P.A. Rasing, Ad A. Vermulst, Ron H.J. Scholte, Kim M. Van Ettekoven, Rutger C.M.E. Engels, Daan H.M. Creemers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Adolescent depression is a global mental health concern. Identification and effective prevention in an early stage are necessary. The present randomized, controlled trial aimed to examine the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)-based depression prevention in adolescents with elevated depressive symptoms. This prevention approach is implemented in school communities, which allows to examine effects under real-life circumstances. Methods: A total of 5222 adolescents were screened for elevated depressive symptoms in the second grade of secondary schools; 130 adolescents aged between 12 and 16 years old (M = 13.59; SD = 0.68; 63.8% girls) were randomly assigned to the experimental (OVK 2.0) or control condition (psycho-education). Self- and parent-reported depressive symptoms were assessed at pretest and post intervention, as well as 6- and 12-months follow-up. Clinical assessment of depression was assessed at pretest and 6-months follow-up. Results: Intent-to-treat analyses revealed that the decrease in adolescent-rated depressive symptoms was significantly larger in the intervention condition than in the control condition. There was no significant difference in decrease of parent-rated depressive symptoms between both conditions. Conclusions: Based on the findings, we recommend the implementation of screening and prevention in schools, according the basics of this study design. Since this is a new step forward, we discuss the clinical impact and challenges, as well possibilities for future research. Trial registration: The study is registered in the Dutch Trial Register for RCT's (NTR5725). Date registered: 11 March 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Article number188
JournalBMC Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper was supported by a grant of the municipality of Oss, The Netherlands. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).

Research programs



Dive into the research topics of 'Randomized control trial testing the effectiveness of implemented depression prevention in high-risk adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this