A randomized controlled trial of a six-session cognitive behavioral treatment of emotional disorders in adolescents 14–17 years old in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
AuthorLorentzen, Veronica; Fagermo, Kenneth; Handegård, Bjørn Helge; Skre, Ingunn; Neumer, Simon-Peter
Methods - A randomized controlled trial with waiting list control (WLC) was performed at three community CAMHS in Norway. Referred adolescents (N = 163, age = 15.72, 90.3% girls) scoring 6 or more on the emotional disorders subscale of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) were randomly assigned to SMART or to WLC.
Results - In the treatment group (CBT), 32.9% improved in the main outcome measure (SDQ), compared to 11.6% in the WLC. Clinically significant and reliable change was experienced by 17.7% in the CBT condition, compared to 5.8% in the WLC. No patients deteriorated. Statistically significant treatment effects were achieved for internalization symptoms, anxiety symptoms and general functioning.
Conclusions - These promising findings indicate that SMART may be considered as a first step in a stepped care model for anxiety and/or depression treatment in CAMHS. The recovery rates imply that further investigations into the effectiveness of brief treatments should be made. Furthermore, there is a need for more comprehensive second-stage treatments for some of these patients.