CBT with depressed young people

It could do more harm than good to treat depressed adolescents through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in the classroom. This is according to new research published in the British Medical Journal, which found school-based programmes aimed at reducing symptoms of depression in adolescents may not be as effective as first hoped.

Indeed, the study - which was led by Paul Stallard, a Chartered Psychologist from the University of Bath - showed classroom-based CBT might serve to increase the reporting of such problems.

The investigators found that a total of 21 per cent of youngsters involved in the research were at high risk of depression, with adjusted mean scores measured through a short mood and feelings questionnaire after a 12-month period suggesting CBT might lead to a depressive symptom increase for this age group.

"At present our data suggest that the widespread roll out of classroom-based adolescent depression prevention programmes should not be pursued without further research and evaluation," they added.