Secondary Outcomes of Implemented Depression Prevention in Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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

2 Citations (Scopus)


Our most recent RCT provides evidence that indicated depression prevention is effective in reducing depressive symptoms in adolescents when implemented in the school community. In the present study we further test the potential effects of this prevention approach on symptoms related to depression: anxiety, suicidality, somatic symptoms, and perfectionism. We conducted exploratory analyses in 130 adolescents with elevated depressive symptoms aged between 12 and 16 years old (M = 13.59; SD = 0.68; 63.8% girls) who were randomly assigned to the experimental (OVK 2.0) or active control condition (psycho-education). Self-reported anxiety, suicidality, somatic symptoms, and perfectionism were assessed at pretest, post intervention, as well as 6- and 12-months follow-up. Latent growth curve analyses revealed that there was a significant decrease in anxiety in both conditions and that this decrease was significantly larger in the intervention condition than in the control condition. Somatic symptoms and socially prescribed perfectionism decreased significantly in the intervention condition and suicidality decreased significantly in the control condition. Yet there was no difference in decrease in suicidality, somatic symptoms, and perfectionism between the two conditions. This study suggest that screening on depressive symptoms and providing a CBT depression prevention program for adolescents with elevated depressive symptoms, can decrease comorbid symptoms of anxiety and therefore ensure better outcomes. We discuss the clinical implications as well suggestions for future research.

Clinical Trial Registration: The study is registered in the Dutch Trial Register for RCTs (NTR5725). Date registered: 11th of March 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Article number643632
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding:This paper was supported by a grant of the municipality of Oss, The Netherlands. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 de Jonge-Heesen, Rasing, Vermulst, Scholte, van Ettekoven, Engels and Creemers.

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