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Online intervention can prevent teen depression

The clinical trial consisted of coaching, motivational interviews, along with a control intervention. The online intervention delivered through online learning modules and consisted of general health education.

The teen is one of the most unstable phases in life. No matter how well-adjusted a teenager may be but it is a time of both physical and emotional changes. At times they do not understand how to handle the transition into adulthood. They experience several hormonal changes and emotional highs. These changes lead to moodiness and can persist longer. Their behaviour gets changes and they even get suicidal thoughts. Depression in teenagers can occur due to several factors or it can be hereditary. They may struggle to find acceptance among peers, develop feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy over exam marks, they may feel conscious about their body or be the victim of bullying. It could also be a long-term consequence of environmental stress.

A recent study, published in JAMA Network Open, highlighted on the positive effect of a web-based intervention, CATCH-IT. The clinical trial consisted of coaching, motivational interviews, along with a control intervention. The online intervention delivered through online learning modules and consisted of general health education.

According to the Hans India report, for the trial, almost 350 teenagers aged between 13 to 18 from a mix of rural and urban areas were enrolled. The researchers noticed the all the participants for 2 years and tracked their depressive episodes. Most of them had either a history of depressive symptoms or depression, which were measured and assigned a score during screening. However, individuals who participated in the CATCH-IT intervention demonstrated greater benefit, achieving as much as 80 per cent risk reduction for experiencing a depressive episode.

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Benjamin Van Voorhees, the principal investigator of the research reportedly said that this study tells us that the online works best for teens who are experiencing worse symptoms.

CATCH-IT is an acronym for Competent Adulthood Transition with Cognitive behavioural Humanistic and Interpersonal Training. It was designed to teach coping skills to teenagers and young adults. The intervention included 20 modules, 15 of which were for adolescents. The remaining five were for parents. The information in the modules was based primarily on previously validated educational materials on coping with depression and behavioural and interpersonal psychotherapy methods.

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