A pragmatic randomized controlled trial of computerized CBT (SPARX) for symptoms of depression among adolescents excluded from mainstream education

  • Fleming T
  • Dixon R
  • Frampton C
 et al. 
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BACKGROUND: Adolescents excluded from mainstream education have high mental health needs. The use of computerized Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT) has not been investigated with this group. AIMS: To test the efficacy of the SPARX cCBT programme for symptoms of depression among adolescents in programmes for students excluded or alienated from mainstream education. METHOD: Adolescents (32; 34% Maori, 38% Pacific Island, 56% male) aged 13-16 with Child Depression Rating Scale Revised (CDRS-R) scores indicating possible through to almost certain depressive disorder were randomized to SPARX to be completed over the following 5 weeks (n = 20) or to waitlist control (n = 12). Assessments were at baseline, 5 weeks and 10 weeks. Those in the wait condition were invited to complete SPARX after the 5 week assessment. RESULTS: Most participants (n = 26, 81%) completed at least 4 levels of SPARX and 22 (69%) completed all 7 levels. Among the 30 (94%) participants who began treatment as randomized and provided 5-week data, significant differences were found between cCBT and wait groups on the CDRS-R (baseline to 5-week mean change -14.7 versus -1.1, p

Author-supplied keywords

  • CCBT
  • Keywords: Adolescents
  • computer
  • depression

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  • Theresa Fleming

  • Robyn Dixon

  • Christopher Frampton

  • Sally Merry

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