School-based interpersonal psychotherapy seems to be effective for treating depressed adolescents

June 07, 2004

CHICAGO - Adolescents who received interpersonal psychotherapy for depression at school-based health clinics had fewer symptoms of depression after 12 to 16 weeks than their peers who received other kinds of psychotherapy at school, according to an article in the June issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Adolescent depression is a common disorder, affecting 1.6 percent to 8.9 percent of adolescents annually, but fewer than three of ten adolescents with mental health problems in the United States receive mental health services, the article states. Recently, school-based health clinics have become an important treatment setting for adolescents with mental health, and general medical problems. Interpersonal psychotherapy focuses on current problems and helps the patient improve interpersonal relationships and reduce depressive symptoms.

Laura Mufson, Ph.D., of New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, and colleagues assessed the effectiveness of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT-A) for depressed adolescents compared to treatment as usual (TAU) for depressed adolescents at school-based mental health clinics.

The researchers studied 63 depressed adolescents at five school-based mental health clinics in New York City. The average age of the adolescents was 15.1 years, 84 percent were female, and 71 percent were Hispanic. Thirty-four adolescents were assigned to receive IPT-A (12 sessions over a 12- to 16-week period) and 29 were assigned to receive TAU at their school-based health clinics. TAU consisted of whatever psychological treatment the adolescents would have received had the study not been in place (generally, supportive, individual counseling).

"Adolescents treated with IPT-A compared with TAU showed greater symptom reduction and improvement in overall functioning," write the authors. The IPT-A group had fewer clinician-reported symptoms of depression, significantly better social functioning, greater clinical improvement and greater decrease in clinical severity of depression than adolescents treated with TAU.

"Interpersonal psychotherapy delivered in school-based health clinics is an effective therapy for adolescent depression," the researchers write.
-end-
(Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004;61:577-584. Available post-embargo at archgenpsychiatry.com) Editor's Note: This study was funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Rockville, Md., and a grant from the Psychotherapy Core of the National Institute of Mental Health Child Psychiatry Intervention Research Center, Rockville.

To contact Laura Mufson, Ph.D., call Dacia Morris at 212-543-5421.

For more information, contact JAMA/Archives Media Relations at 312-464-JAMA (5262) or e-mail mediarelations@jama-archives.org .

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.