Online single-session interventions (SSIs) appear to offer some benefit for adolescents with depression during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published in Nature Human Behaviour. Jessica L. Schleider, PhD, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial to test online SSIs during the pandemic among 2,452 adolescents aged 13-16 with elevated depression symptoms. Adolescents were randomly assigned to a behavioral activation SSI, an SSI that teaches that traits are malleable, or a supportive control. The effects of each SSI were examined with post-intervention outcomes and 3-month outcomes. Both active SSIs reduced 3-month depressive symptoms compared with the control, as well as post-intervention and 3-month hopelessness; increased post-intervention agency; and decreased restrictive eating at 3 months. “On a public health scale, since the programs are so easily accessible, and free, this type of intervention could help reduce the overall burden of depression in this vulnerable population of youth,” Dr. Schleider said in a statement.
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