Literature Review

Initiative Description: Systematic review of school-based interventions to prevent the occurrence of depression and anxiety disorders utilizing an RCT design. 28 studies remained because of being randomized controlled trials; with a sample size of at least 100 participants and originating from after the year 2000.

strong>Study results: The majority of the reviewed studies proved preventive school-based interventions on depression and anxiety to be effective. Universal approaches may show an advantage over indicated and selective interventions: besides the higher recruitment rate, the group of participants without initial symptoms or at elevated risk of developing such would not have benefited from a purely indicated approach. Then again, other evaluations showed that their interventions are better suited to treat mild depression instead of performing a preventive function, which may support the idea of mixing approaches to fit a target group as large as possible.

Reference: Corrieri, S., Heider, D., Conrad, I., Blume, A., Konig, H. H., & Riedel-Heller, S. G. (2014). School-based prevention programs for depression and anxiety in adolescence: a systematic review. Health Promotion International, 29(3), 427–441.

Level of Evidence: 3 out of 5 stars Very Good