Randomized clinical trial of a primary care internet-based intervention to prevent adolescent depression: One-year outcomes

Alexandria Saulsberry*, Monika Marko-Holguin, Kelsey Blomeke, Clayton Hinkle, Joshua Fogel, Tracy Gladstone, Carl Bell, Mark Reinecke, Marya Corden, Benjamin W. Van Voorhees

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Objective: We developed a primary care/Internet-based intervention for adolescents at risk for depression (CATCH-IT, Competent Adulthood Transition with Cognitive-behavioral, Humanistic and Interpersonal Training). This phase II clinical trial compares two forms of primary care provider (PCP) engagement (motivational interview [MI] and brief advice [BA]) for adolescents using the Internet program. Method: Adolescents screening positive for depression were recruited from primary care practices and randomly assigned to a version of the intervention: PCP MI + Internet program or PCP BA + Internet program. Between-group and within-group comparisons were conducted on depressive disorder outcome measures at baseline and one-year post-enrollment. Regression analyses examined factors predicting declines in depressed mood. Results: Both groups demonstrated significant within-group decreases in depressed mood, loneliness, and self-harm ideation. While no between-group differences were noted in depressed mood or depressive disorder measures at one-year, fewer participants in the MI group had experienced a depressive episode. Greater participant automatic negative thoughts and more favorable ratings of a component of the Internet-based training experience predicted declines in depressed mood at one-year. Conclusions: A primary care/Internet-based intervention for depression prevention demonstrated sustained reductions in depressed mood, and, when coupled with motivational interviewing, reduction in the likelihood of being diagnosed with a depressive episode. This tool may help extend the services at the disposal of a primary care provider and can provide a bridge for adolescents at risk for depression prior to referral to mental health specialists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-117
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Adolescent depression
  • Internet
  • Prevention and intervention
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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